Seventh Annual Weekend of Twinning

Feeding the Hungry NYC, sponsored in part by the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation.

Feeding the Hungry NYC, sponsored in part by the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation.

Featured Events:

  • Northern New Jersey Wednesday and Friday, November 5 and 7, Dr. Ali Chaudry, President of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, and Rabbi Deb Smith, Congregation Or Ha Lev in Mt. Arlington, spoke at the Islamic Center of Morris County and Congregation Or Ha Lev on "The Centrality of the Concept of Peace in Islam and Judaism."


  • Manchester, UK Saturday,November 8 A concert extravaganza organized by the Muslim-Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester featuring Rumi's Circle, The Ukrainian Dancers and L'Chaim Kapele.


  • Houston, TX Sunday, November 9, Muslim and Jewish doctors, dentists and medical personnel affiliated with the Ibn Sina Foundation and Temple Brith Shalom offered free health screenings and consultations to people in without health insurance.


  • Denver, November 9 and 16  On Sunday, November 9, a group of Jewish and Muslim leaders held their second meeting to build relationships and work toward the creation of a Muslim-Jewish Leadership Coalition in the Denver Area. On Sunday, November 16,Muslims and Jews gathered under the auspices of the Abrahamic Initiative for a special concert: "Glorious Noise: Interfaith Harmony."


  • Indonesia November 11-November 16, Rabbi Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali toured Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country with stops in Jakarta, Jogjakarta and Bali to promote their recently published book Sons of Abraham:  A Candid Conversation About the Issues that Divide and Unite Muslims and Jews.


  • Singapore Monday, November 17, Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali were feature speakers at "The Commitment to Peace: A Dialogue on Jews and Muslims", and event co- sponsored by Chabad and the National University of Singapore, Department of Malay Studies. Singapore; a small island nation known for its espousal of religious freedom and diversity.


  • Rabat, Morocco November 12-13,  FFEU Director of Operations Tamar Schneck and FFEU European Coordinator Samia Hathroubi participated in a Jewish-Muslim-Christian women's conference under the patronage of King Mohammed II entitled "Women at the Heart of Monotheism."


  • Albany, NY Thursday,November 13 FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director Walter Ruby spoke at a forum for leaders of the Muslim, Jewish and African American communities in the Capital District at the New School of Business, University of Albany. The Forum also featured Lawrence Rosenbaum and Reyad Mahmoud of Albany, who recently launched a kosher-halal cheese-making business.


  • Bay Area, CA Saturday, November 15 Temple Shir Hadash in Los Gatos hosted a Muslim-Jewish Women's Twinning event after Shabbat services. Muslim, Jewish and Christian women held a public dialogue based on The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, a Jew: Three Women Search for Understanding. With the participation of Shir Hadash Senior Rabbi Melanie Aaron and Maha Elgenaidi of Islamic Networks Group.


  • Los Angeles Sunday, November 16 at Pico Union Project. Claremont Lincoln University and ReGeneration co-sponsored "Together in the City of Angels; A Musical Celebration of Muslim-Jewish Unity" in honor of the Southern California Muslim-Jewish Forum. Among the renowned musical performers at the concert were Riad Abu-Gawad, Cantor Mike Stein, Aryell Cohen, Ben Youcef, Hillel Tigay and Judeo and Merima Kljcuo. Other LA events included food packing for the hungry at Wilshire Boulevard Temple with the Islamic Society of Southern California on November 9, and a Muslim-Jewish story telling event organized by NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change on Saturday evening November 15.


  • Detroit Sunday,November 16, Muslim and Jewish activists from around the Detroit area participated ina cleanup of an empty lot at 2266 Andres Ave as part of an ongoing Muslim-Jewish effort to revitalize Detroit.


  • Manhattan, NYSunday, November 16  A wide spectrum of Muslim and Jewish activists brought together by FFEU and Muslims Against Hunger gathered at Columbia University to prepare food for hungry and homeless people. They then moved to  the JCC in Manhattanfor the grassroots and young leadership launch of the New York Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee (NYC-MJSC).


  • Jerusalem  Sunday, November 16  The Circle of Light and Hope, an Israeli-Palestinian discussion group including Jews from Jerusalem, brought together Christians from Beit Jala and Muslims from Hebron to discuss the interface between religion and politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Circle of Light and Hope is one of 29 interfaith groups across Israel and the West Bank under the aegis of the Interfaith Encounter Association.


  • Toronto Sunday, November 16  Reception at Hart House at the University of Toronto forlaunch of Beyond Calligraphy: Jewish and Muslim Artists Explore Texts and Contexts.  The exhibit explores how texts and contexts inform the relationship that Toronto-based Muslim and Jewish artists have with their work.  The event was sponsored by the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims together with the University of Toronto and Dr. Shari Golberg.


  • London Thursday,November 20, 7 PM Rabbi Maurice Michaels and Dr. Dorab Mistry participated in a panel discussion on the efficacy of Interfaith Dialogue sponsored by the Barnet Borough Multi-Faith Forum at the Hendon Town Hall


  • Washington DCSunday,November 23 The Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum, sponsored a Summit of Washington Area Imams and Rabbis at the Washington Hebrew Congregation to convince clergy and congregants at Washington area mosques and synagogues to give a higher priority to strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations


  • Queens, NY Sunday, November 23 Volunteers from the Muslim community joined Jewish volunteers in packing food for distribution to homeless and hungry Queens residents on Thanksgiving


  • Abuja, NigeriaDecember 5-7 Rabbi Israel Uzan of Chabad-Lubavtich, together with FFEU, convened the first Weekend of Twinning in Nigeria with the aim of bringing together top leadersof Nigeria's frequently antagonistic Muslim and Christian communities for a summitto demonstrate to the larger Nigerian population that peaceful interfaith relations are possible.


  • Tunis Sunday, December 7 Award-winning film director Karim Miske screened his new documentary film Jews and Muslims, so close, so far and lead a discussion of present-day Muslim-Jewish relations in North Africa.Co-sponsored by the French Embassy to Tunisia and the Tunisian Association for the Protection of Minorities.


  • Chicago Sunday,December 5-7 A series of Muslim-Jewish events, including a twinning event between Temple Am Shalom in Glencoe and the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago in Northbrook; and a Feeding the Hungry effort featuring Congregation Beth Shalom of Naperville and Muslims Against Hunger, Chicago branch.


  • Paris Sunday December 14 Weekend of Twinning celebration featuring Will Eastman, FFEU executive Director, and Suhail Khan, Fromer White House liaison to Asian-American communities, in conversation with French imams and rabbis. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to Paris


  • Bronx, NY December 17 and 19 Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn and the Congregation Tehillah Youth Group hosted Sheikh Moussa Drammeh and a youth group from the Islamic Cultural Center of North America (ICCNA) in Parkchester, The Bronx. Following this, Sheikh Drammeh and his youth group hosted Rabbi Shriner Cahn and a youth delegation from Kehilla at ICCNA, together with Muslim and Jewish leaders from around New York at a reception following the Jum'aa (Midday) prayers


  • Los Angeles December 25  reGeneration and the SoCal Muslim-Jewish Forum prepared and delivered food to the hungry on Christmas Day in order to make this holiday a day of service.


Media from the Seventh Annual Weekend of Twinning:

Sixth Annual Weekend of Twinning


Media from the Sixth Annual Weekend of Twinning

Fifth International Weekend of Twinning

At a time of heightened economic difficulty and recurring natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, Muslims and Jews in 18 cities across North America and Europe joined together for the Fifth Annual Weekend of Twinning.This year, there were more than 100 twinning events in 20 countries on 4 continents. Another set of FFEU-sponsored twinning programs will take place in Southern Hemisphere countries like Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Australia and New Zealand in March, 2013.

FFEU partnered with Muslims Against Hunger and Masbia to facilitate this year's theme, "Feeding the Hungry". Participating organizations provided nourishing meals to hungry and homeless people. Muslims and Jews also met at learning/networking events that highlighted the common moral imperative in Islam and Judaism to feed the hungry.

Muslim-Jewish Feeding the Hungry events took place in Toronto, Minneapolis, Binghamton, NY, Boston, Manhattan, Morristown, NJ, New Brunswick, NJ, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles and Manchester, England, to name a few. Muslims and Jews in Brooklyn and Long Island also came together to offer nourishing meals, warm blankets, winter coats and nourishing meals to victims of Hurricane Sandy.


Other worldwide twinning events included:

•‘Virtual Twinning’, an international video conference about how to build Muslim-Jewish relations across national boundries, connected Muslims and Jews from diverse locations around the world such as: Pakistan, Morocco, Israel, Germany, Poland, Britain and the United States.


• In London, the UK Imams and Rabbis Council held a two part symposium entitled: Religious Moderation in an Age of Extremism: Authenticity, Security, and The Human Terrain of Conflict with events at the House of Lords and the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom.


• In Paris, an International Muslim-Jewish women’s event was held at the renowned Galerie d’Art-Espace Culturel de Mme Christiane Peugeot. The event featured readings of works by Muslim and Jewish writers and poets and a performance of rare Judeo-Arab music from North Africa.


• In Detroit, Muslim and Jewish young professionals gathered at a local community center for a friendly basketball tournament and social get-together where they discussed how to work together going forward for the betterment of Detroit.


• In Toronto, Muslims and Jews gathered at the Noor Cultural Centre under the aegis of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM) for a lecture and discussion focusing on Religious Freedom in Canada and Jewish and Muslim perspectives on being a religious minority.


• In Bethesda, Muslim and Jewish teens from synagogues and mosques around the Greater Washington Area gathered in Meadowbrook Park in Bethesda, Maryland to do clean up and mulching work and then hold a pizza celebration.

• In New Orleans, members of Temple Sinai and Masjid Rahim in New Orleans went together to hospitals and nursing homes to visit ailing people of all backgrounds; thereby fulfilling the moral imperative in both faiths to visit the sick.


• In Los Angeles, Muslim and Jewish young professionals gathered under the aegis of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, for an evening of storytelling, based on real life experiences of growing up Muslim and Jewish in Los Angeles.


• In Milan, Shaykh Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini, president of COREIS and Imam Yahya Pallavicini, imam of the Al Wahid Mosque were guests of Rav Alfonso Arbib, Chief Rabbi in Milan and Walker Meghnagi, President of the Jewish Community for a celebration of Jewish-Muslim cooperation in conjunction with the Saint Augustin Award for the Improvement of inter-religious Dialogue in the Mediterranean.


Media from the Fifth Weekend of Twinning

It's an idea that feels particularly poignant this Thanksgiving: American Jews and Muslims banding together to help the homeless and other needy people.

Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday of miracles, commemorating how one day’s worth of oil left in a Jerusalem candelabra more than 2,000 years ago somehow lasted for eight days. Imam Souleimane Konate, the head of Masjid Aqsa, a mosque in Harlem, is hoping that bodes well for his cause.

In the run up to Thanksgiving, hundreds of Muslims and Jews have joined together in cities across North America to serve nourishing meals to hungry and homeless people.

Jews and Muslims were in a sticky situation Sunday at the Northeast Denver Islamic Center — they were up to their elbows in peanut butter and jelly as they made roughly 1,000 sandwiches to hand out to people on the streets.

It’s an idea that feels particularly poignant around Thanksgiving: American Jews and Muslims banding together to help the homeless and other needy people.

Jews and Muslims across metro Detroit are forging close ties in a series of events to promote harmony between the two groups amid growing tensions in the Middle East this week as fighting escalates between Israel and Gaza.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “I am deeply proud of the work done by Rabbi Marc Schneier and the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding. I have witnessed the power of the Foundation’s programs between Muslims and Jews and I can only pray that this upcoming “Weekend of Twinning” brings more compassion and tolerance to this world. As tensions rise in the Middle East, it will be these men and women of the good books who will ultimately lead a movement towards peace. I wish them the best and I send them my sincerest gratitude.” ~Russell Simmons

As fighting raged between the Jewish state and militant Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip, Jewish students and members of the Muslim Students Association at the University of Pittsburgh came together at the Hillel Jewish University Center.

A Weekend of Twinning of Muslim and Jewish volunteers will take place during the Thanksgiving holidays, with volunteers working together to feed the hungry and homeless and to give aid and comfort to those most in need.

As Jews and Muslims battled each other in the Mideast, some of their co-religionists in the United States came together Sunday to prepare food for hungry Americans, salvage the homes of hurricane victims and discuss how both faiths command members to help the needy.

Fourth Annual Weekend of Twinning

Jews and Muslims held the world’s largest dialogue as thousands of participants across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa participated last weekend in the Fourth annual Weekend of Twinning. The Fourth Annual Weekend of Twinning, held over the weekend of November 18-20 with some events running through the end of December, facilitated 125 events with participation in 26 countries on four continents.

More than 250 Muslim and Jewish organizations participated in face-to-face encounters in cities around the world to celebrate commonalities, undertake joint social action projects and confront Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism together. Social action initiatives included Muslims and Jews feeding the hungry and the homeless in Boston, New Jersey, Toronto and Washington, DC.

The Fourth Annual Weekend of Twinning came to an end on Sunday, December 18 with a Virtual (Online) Twinning Event; a global conversation linking up nearly 30 members of the twinning community in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Britain, Austria, Ukraine, Israel and Pakistan.

Media from the Fourth Annual Weekend of Twinning

Thousands of Muslims and Jews across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have participated  in the fourth edition of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s (FFEU) Annual Weekend of Twinning. 

Daisy Khan seemed right at home in the ornately decorated main sanctuary of B’nai Jeshurun, a large and vibrant synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Thousands of Jews and Muslims across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will participate in joint Jewish-Muslim events this weekend, as part of the “Weekend of Twinning” project.

In two historic firsts for Staten Island, Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island and Noor Al-Islam Society announced they will participate in the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding's "Weekend of Twinning."

Muslim and Jewish Volunteers Feed the Hungry by Cooking 350 Meals Sunday

Von Freitag bis Sonntag laden Gemeinden weltweit zum Twinning Weekend ein

Third Annual Weekend of Twinning

The Third Annual Weekend of Twinning became a world-wide phenomenon as tens of thousands of Muslims and Jews in more than 120 synagogues and 120 mosques in 22 countries on four continents—including the State of Israel—attended events, bringing together members of the two communities to celebrate commonalities in the two faith traditions and to work together for their joint benefit.

The Third Annual Weekend of Twinning kicked off with a ‘Virtual Twinning’ on October 31, an on-line worldwide town hall bringing together youthful participants of the Muslim Jewish Conference. Participants hailed from many countries, including: Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Morocco, Nigeria, Morocco, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Sweden, France, Britain, and Canada. The town hall discussion focused on how to use the Internet to spread Jewish-Muslim dialogue globally, including to Muslim countries where there are few or no Jews.

The Weekend of Twinning was held after a tumultuous summer that resulted in an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments across the U.S. relating to the plans to build an Islamic community center near the former site of the World Trade Center in N.Y. “The targeting this summer of Muslim communities in New York, Tennessee and elsewhere demonstrate that we as a country have a long way to go until all men and women are accepted as equals,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier. “I am proud to see so many join in on the Weekend of Twinning. Rather than joining in the chorus of non-acceptance, they are choosing instead to confront Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism and bigotry head-on. The Weekend of Twinning has time and time again shown us that Jews and Muslims can not only live together peacefully as neighbors, but also partner together to build a better community at-large."


Media from the Third Annual Weekend of Twinning

The Third Annual Twinning weekend kicked off this weekend as Jews and Muslims, as well as representatives of Mosques and Synagogues from across the globe cross came together to take part in the world's largest gathering encouraging ethnic tolerance.

The city's oldest Jewish synagogue and oldest Islamic mosque are coming together this weekend, honoring Jewish-Islamic relations.

Worshipers at Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, a synagogue in West Newton, and the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland plan to spend this weekend getting to know one another as part of an international “twinning’’ project that aims to combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia by building relationships between Jews and Muslims.

Despite tensions over the situation in the Middle East, Judaism and Islam have a long history of cooperation, friendship, and shared theology and customs.

Free medical screenings and a clean-up day were part of a U.S. bridge-building group’s third season of Muslim-Jewish "twinning" events.

Un couscous commun réunit dimanche les membres des communautés juive et musulmane de Ris-Orangis, dans l'Essonne.

Ce week-end, synagogues et mosquées ont fait portes ouvertes. Depuis deux ans, l'Amitié Judéo-Musulmane de France (AJMF), à l'initiative de cette opération, encourage les rencontres entre islam et judaïsme. Le principe : des communautés juives et musulmanes s'invitent respectivement dans leurs lieux de culte.

Second Annual Weekend of Twinning

The Second Annual Weekend of Twinning more than doubled in size from the 2008 event and jumped across the Atlantic Ocean, as thousands of Muslims and Jews from North America and Europe came together to break bread, pray, perform community service and pledge to nurture ties of friendship and trust between their communities.

After a kickoff event in Chicago, more than 100 mosques and 100 synagogues held one-on-one programs across the United States, Canada and Europe, including: Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands. In France, where Muslim Jewish tensions have been especially high, 20 mosques and 20 synagogues twinned with each other, offering a powerful refutation to the idea that reconciliation between the two faith communities is impossible. “The overwhelming success of the Weekend of Twinning makes clear that Muslims and Jews across North America and Europe are avid to connect with each other and to build a movement dedicated to nurturing ties of communication, reconciliation and cooperation between our two communities," said Rabbi Marc Schneier.

Media from the Second Annual Weekend of Twinning

At a time when Judaeophobia – a more accurate term than anti-Semitism in the context of Israeli-Arab or Jewish-Muslim relations – is on a stark upswing in the Arab street, it is important for us to pay tribute to the efforts of the handful of Jewish and Muslim leaders who are fighting against hatred and extremism on both sides of the chasm that separates the respective descendants of Isaac and Ishmael.

For a while in New Orleans Thursday, disparate Jewish and Muslim worlds with little prior contact met and introduced themselves to each other, chatted amiably, even shared a little humor.

The joke is supposed to start "Four rabbis and two imams walk into a restaurant," but last night it wasn't a laughing matter at all. It was, in fact, a serious effort on the part of many in the New Orleans community to foster trust and understanding between two divergent faith groups. 

An innovative campaign to build grass-roots dialogue between Jews and Muslims in North America has crossed the Atlantic and taken off in Europe. The “Weekend of Twinning of Mosques and Synagogues,” which began last year with about 100 houses of worship in North America, expanded this year to include events in eight European countries. 

Father Beck attends service with Rabbi Gewirtz and Imam W. Deen Shareef. 

Although he lives in a borough with a sizeable Muslim population and leads a congregation of Bukharian Jews, a community that hails from a mostly Muslim region of the former Soviet Union, Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov says that, until Sunday, he never visited a mosque 

First Women's Twinning event in Brussels

The First Women's Twinning Event in Brussels held Sunday 13 November 2011 at Café La Porteuse d’eau, Avenue Jean Volders 48a 1060 Bruxelles. Muslim and Jewish women from around Belgium met at the charming Café La Porteuse d’eau over coffee and cakes for a discussion of “Femininity in Judaism and Islam”. The conveners of the event, Aicha Haddou of Brussels, and Nadine Iarchy-Zuker, are the originators of the Muslim-Jewish women’s twinning events, which are taking place this year in eight countries around the world. In a historic event aimed at strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States and Canada, more than 40 mosques and more than 40 synagogues across the continent.

First Annual Weekend of Twinning

The First Annual Weekend of Twinning will link up for a Weekend of Twinning of Mosques and Synagogues Across North America on November 21-23, 2008. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding will play the chief coordinating role in the Weekend of Twinning in consultation with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).


Media from the First Annual Weekend of Twinning

Throughout weekend, 50 mosques and 50 synagogues representing over 100,000 Muslims and Jews throughout US, Canada will join together to confront Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. 

Rabbinical student Jessica Koss paused in front of the mosque and carefully wrapped a turquoise and green scarf around her head so that all her hair was covered. 

Muslim and Jewish leaders across the United States and Canada plan to meet this weekend to discuss ways to fight anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia. 

Local Jews and Muslims will gather this weekend as part of a national effort to foster unity and curb prejudice. 

Southern California has long been home to a variety of interfaith efforts, and that continued in 2008. In November, Jews and Muslims participated in a national "twinning campaign" to create mosque-synagogue partnerships to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.