Shalom/Salaam: A Muslim Jewish Conference for Solidarity
Join us for a day long voyage to Muslim Jewish Solidarity! Shalom/Salaam presents a full-day exploration through conversations, workshops, performances and food of the strong and little known positive relationship between Muslims and Jews throughout history. Co-hosted by the International Human Rights Art Festival and Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, the day will highlight spiritual, cultural and historical connections. The full-day ticket will include Kosher and Halal snacks throughout the day from our shared cultures, as well as a Kosher and Halal dinner.
The schedule will comprise:
12:30-1:15: check in at the theatre
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.
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 (Kabbalistic musical interpretations) and Samuel Torjman Thomas, Director and Bandleader of the NY Andalus Ensemble and ASEFA.
And we'll also learn fun facts like: Moses is the most often cited historical figure in the Qu'ran and (as an Imam in Suburban Maryland once told Tom Block): "The Qu'ran is like 60% about the Jews."
The image is of "Abrahamic Family Reunion: Sara, Abraham, Isaac, Ishamel and Hagar," by Tom Block