AJC Bringing Three Mideast Clerics to Western States to Discuss Peace

June 6, 2005
NEW YORK – The American Jewish Committee is hosting interfaith programs in Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, and Orange County, California later this month in an effort to inspire support for peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians.

The innovative AJC program, Abrahamic Voices of Peace, features a rabbi, priest and imam from Israel who will discuss their successful efforts in deepening understanding and cooperation, experiences that could serve as models of cooperation for faith communities in the U.S. who have direct connections to the Middle East.

"We want to send a message of hope, to convey clearly that peaceful cooperation between the main religious communities in the Middle East is possible," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s director of interreligious affairs. "Our program offers Americans a unique opportunity to express and discuss their fears, concerns and questions about the region with Israeli Arabs and Jews."

The three religious leaders are Father George Khoury, a Greek Catholic priest who has served as presiding judge of the Greek Catholic Court in Israel; Imam Ghassan Manasra, a member of the Sufi order, who is co-director of the Arab-Jewish Co-existence Program at Yesodot, the Center for Torah and Democracy; and, Rabbi Ariel Picard, an Orthodox rabbi and educator at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

The AJC programs, involving interaction with local Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities, will take place in Denver on June 22 and 23, in Seattle on June 24 and 25, in San Francisco on June 26 and 27, and in Orange County, California on June 28 and 29.

Abrahamic Voices of Peace is sponsored by Helaine and Sidney Lerner.

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