Jul 29, 2013

When Will the Dates Be Served?

By Saadia Faruqi
A Hotchpotch Hijabi in Italy

Interfaith Ramadan events are constantly on my mind these days. As interfaith liaison for my mosque I’ve been organizing weekly women’s Iftaars every year for three years, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to talk about some lessons learned on this blog here and here. With two weeks remaining until we bid farewell to another sacred month, it may be time to discuss some stereotypes that I’ve witnessed among our guests and how I’ve tried to dispel some of them.

Jul 26, 2013

To The Place Where the Streams Flow

By Rabbi Laura Sheinkopf

I spent my high school years at a New England boarding school called Northfield Mt. Hermon where I recently returned for my 25th reunion.  Yes, it did make me feel old.  But it also made feel lucky – lucky to have attended such a beautiful and enlightened school.  Truthfully my landing in 9th grade was more like a crash landing.  I was thoroughly consumed by my own adolescent drama when I came for my interview.  It was the morning after a heavy snowfall and I was sleeping in back of the car.  I woke up just as the campus came into view.  It looked like a postcard – impossibly picturesque, a cluster of buildings that included a big stone chapel and bold red barn huddled together on a blanket of thick new snow.  I fell in love with it instantly.  It looked like a place where there might be a place for me – whoever that turned out to be.  

Jul 17, 2013

Friends of Iman Interfaith Iftaar

Christ Church Cathedral in Houston hosted an interfaith Iftaar on July 11, presented by the Friends of Iman, a group of young adults who organize education and interfaith activities in memory of Iman Haq, a young Muslim woman who died two years ago at the age of 20. An Iftaar is a traditional Islamic dinner observed during the month of Ramadan, when the community gathers together to break their daylong fast as the sun goes down.

Jul 14, 2013

Ten Reasons Why I Pray During Ramadan

By Rev. Nell Green
Source: APB Blog
My initial experiences with Ramadan years ago in West Africa were at times confusing to say the least. I will never forget getting caught in an awful traffic jam in the main thoroughfare of one of the most congested neighborhood markets. People were scurrying, buses and cars were honking, and voices were raised as everyone wanted to hurry and make it home to break the fast. Unfortunately, the sun began to set and the jam was at a standstill. Out from the market flowed vendors with dates, juice, water, bits of bread etc. to serve the stranded motorists and break the fast.

Jul 10, 2013

Religious Freedom Implies Protection of all Religions

By Ramona Siddoway
“[Religion] remains the most powerful community builder the world has known,” says Jonathan Sacks, chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. “Religion is the best antidote to the individualism of the consumer age. The idea that society can do without it flies in the face of history.” Many secularists and young adults erroneously believe that personal freedoms and religion can be separated, that religious freedom (or lack of) has little or no effect on other liberties of our day-to-day life.

Jul 4, 2013

What July 4th Means to an Immigrant

By Shahina Bashir
Sixteen years ago at the Immigration and Naturalization Services offices in Baltimore, Maryland I repeated these words of oath: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."