Late yesterday, my LA-based Muslim and Jewish colleagues and I released the following spiritual statement. Remarkably, it wasn’t difficult to put the statement together or to gather signatures. In fact, it was very easy. A testament, I think, to what years of patiently cultivating Muslim-Jewish relationships can achieve.
In a dark and difficult time (may God protect Israel and our chayalim), I hope that it gives you a moment of light.
(You can also view the statement at
and at https://www.facebook.com/scmjf )
Press Release from the SoCal Muslim-Jewish Forum regarding the murder of Israeli and Palestinian Teens
We are a group of Muslim and Jewish community and religious leaders in Los Angeles and Orange County. Although we have important disagreements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it ought to be resolved, all of us together affirm that the murder of innocent people, be they Muslim or Jewish, is a desecration of God’s name and violation of the most basic tenets of our faiths. There is no possible justification for such acts and we utterly reject them. We are all children of Abraham and are beloved of God.
We together extend condolences to the families of Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. We pray that their memories serve to spur both of our communities to loudly and definitively reject the paths of violence and revenge, and to embrace negotiation in the spirit of mutual respect as the only way forward.
Melissa Balaban, IKAR
Rabbi Karen Bender, Temple Judea
Rabbi Sharon Brous, IKAR
Noor-Malika Chishti, Sufi Order International
Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, Beth Shir Shalom
Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, Orange County Islamic Foundation
Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Valley Beth Shalom
Rabbi Susan Goldberg, Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Senior Claremont Lincoln Fellow for Interreligious Curriculum
Rabbi Judith Halevy, Malibu Jewish Center
Atilla Kahveci, Pacifica Institute, Westwood
Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, B’nai David-Judea
Mohammed Khan, STOPP. Society To Offer Prosperity And Peace.
Rabbi Peter Levi, Temple Beth El of South Orange County
Dr. David Myers, Chair, Department of History, UCLA
Dr. Sadegh Namazikhah, Iranian-American Muslim Association
Rabbi Laura Owens, B’nai Horin and The Academy for Jewish Religion California
Barrie Segall, Segall Consulting
Imam Jihad Turk, President, Bayan Claremont, an Islamic Graduate School
Shepha Schneirsohn Vainstein MA LMFT, reGeneration
The SoCal Muslim-Jewish Forum was convened in association with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Rabbi Marc Schneier, President