A Muslim-Jewish Conference for Solidarity
Learn, Participate, Be Inspired!
(Budgets, productions schedule, suggested programming, outreach and PR ideas etc. can be provided upon request.)
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Shalom/Salaam offers a full-day creative exploration around the shared history of Muslim and Jewish cultural, artistic, and spiritual interactions. We feature everything from hands-on poetry workshops to Jewish and Muslim comedians, musicians, belly dancers, thinkers, and any other manner of intellectual or artistic exploration to open a space for conversation, reflection, healing and enjoyment. The conference comprises (but is not limited to):
Conversations around cultural, spiritual and historical themes
Workshops on poetry, music, meditation and other subjects
Book talks about unique and less commonly known topics
Explorations of shared spirituality and traditions
Performances including music, dance, theatre, spoken word, storytelling etc.
Shared halal/kosher meals
This full day of activity will highlight the strong and little known positive relationship between Muslims and Jews throughout history, challenging and dismantling stereotypes about Muslims and Jews as political, social, cultural, and religious enemies.
We will work with partner organizations to identify local artists, academics and like-minded organizations; build a schedule of events appropriate to your audience; outreach into the local community for participants; find the best hosting site; undertake press outreach; concentrate on issues of local concern and all other aspects of the event.
We are looking for partners with whom to expand this exciting, creative peace initative.
Building on our successful events produced in New York City, we look to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to other locales and venues around the United States. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a partner in this exciting initiative.
The International Human Rights Art Festival has produced more than 80 events featuring more than 300 artists since its inception in March 2017, at Dixon Place (NY). It has been covered in more than 30 media outlets (including the New York Times, NBC, Fox5, AM-NY, Metro-NY, Huffington Post and many others); has worked with politicians and performers such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Charles Schumer, Congressman John Lewis, Kathleen Turner, Barbra Streisand and many more and WNYC is its media partner.
The Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee is a grassroots community building relationships to stand against hate through shared values and social action. We invite all people to dismantle prejudices and inequities, and encourage curiosity and education for transformation. Our events and programs are carefully planned and implemented to be deeply engaging and interactive experiences. It is impossible to attend an MJSC event without getting lost in the moment, we call it “the MJSC experience.” Solidarity is not the end goal though, it is just the beginning of a massive change in the way we all think about each other to transform the cycle of fear and violence into love and justice, because what we share is so much more powerful than what divides us. All of our events and programs are always open to all faiths and identities independent of any political or institutional agenda. Our work is based on the Muslim and Jewish shared values of Peace שָׁלוֹם سلام / Learning علم יֶדַע / Giving Back زكاة צדקה.
Past Shalom/Salaam Events
A Muslim-Jewish Conference for Solidarity
April 14, 2019
Actors Theatre Workshop, 145 W. 28th Street, NY
IHRAF and the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee explored the cultural, historical and spiritual affinities between members of these two Abrahamic faiths. Beginning at 1:15 pm, we spent the afternoon and evening in conversation, workshops, talks, and finished with an evening performance, including dance, theatre and music. The full-day schedule comprised a wide variety of explorations:
1:15-1:45: Introductions to the work of the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee and the International Human Rights Art Festival, followed by a meditation niggun (chant) led by Jewish spiritual practitioner Eliezer Sobel.
2:00-3:00: A reading and discussion of medieval Muslim-Jewish poetry, which often used extremely sensual imagery to describe the spiritual path. This will be followed by a writing workshop to create our own poem. This will be led by Monna Sabouri of the Muslim Writers Collective.
3:00-3:45: Shalom/Salaam book talk and discussion, based on Tom Block's groundbreaking study of the influence of Sufism on medieval Jewish mysticism, Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity.
4:00-5:00: Widad Hassan, Lead Advisor for Muslim, Arab, South Asian Communities and Beth Miller, Liaison to Jewish Communities, both for the NYC Commission on Human Rights, will lead a workshop and conversation exploring how Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and other forms of religious discrimination impact the lives of New Yorkers and how we can build welcoming, affirming, and multi-faith spaces to build community. The NYC Commission on Human Rights is the city agency charged with enforcing the NYC Human Rights Law, one of the most protective anti-discrimination laws in the country.
5:00-5:45: Muslim-Jewish Songlines: A Tradition of Musical Dialogue. Samuel Torjman Thomas, PhD (of NY Andalus Ensemble) leads a workshop focusing on shared song traditions in the Middle East and North Africa, highlighting instances of Judeo-Islamic intercultural exchange, musical dialects, and textual traditions in Hebrew, Arabic, and Ladino (Hebreo-Spanish).
6:00-7:00: A Jewish-Muslim dinner, featuring shared dishes from our long and often positive history. Don't forget: a medieval Jewish practitiioner once described Islam as "God's gift to the Jews." And the food is good, too!
7:00-8:30 pm: Performance! Featuring: Shayna Maydela Project (dance about untold Sephardic histories, where music connects Jews & Muslims); Amin Sarshar (Persian setar music and mystical poetry); Bukharian Jewish storyteller Ruben Shimonov; Gilad Barakan (will be playing with Parham Haghighi Persian and Israeli songs with modern interpretations) and Samuel Torjman Thomas, Director and Bandleader of the NY Andalus Ensemble and ASEFA.
A Voyage to Muslim-Jewish Solidarity
October 22, 2018
The Playroom Theater, 151 West 46th Street, NY
Produced in conjunction with Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, Shalom/Salaam presented an evening of performance, comedy, discussion and conviviality around the strong and little known positive relationship between Muslims and Jews throughout history. The evening comprised a voyage into the culture, history and pain of the Arab-Jew and even the Palestinian Jew by actor and writer Hannah Goldman; an improv comedy set around a shared Sufi-Jewish mystical tale (told about a Middle Eastern Sufi master in the 9th-13th century and retold almost verbatim about a European Hasidic master in the 17th-19th centuries); a niggun and reading by Eliezer Sobel from his fictional story about a medieval Jewish poet and contemporary of Rumi; two medieval Persian poems sung, accompanied by his setar, by Amin Sarshar, plus an introduction to the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, by founding board member Zena Schulman.