Three Clerics to Discuss Middle East Conflict

June 15, 2004

June 15, 2004 -  New York – The American Jewish Committee is hosting interfaith programs across the country next week to discuss how religion can be a resource, rather than an obstacle, to peace in the Middle East.

This is the second year AJC has sponsored Voices of Peace from the Holy Land, a program featuring a rabbi, priest and imam from Israel who will discuss the regional conflict and efforts to bridge the distrust that separates Arabs and Jews. The program is sponsored by AJC’s Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding.

"We want to send a message of hope through these sessions, a message that peace between the religious communities in the Middle East is possible," said David Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs. "The sessions also offer people living in the U.S. a unique opportunity to express and discuss their fears, concerns and questions about the region with Israeli Arabs and Jews."

Two of the panelists, Reverend Samuel Fanous and Imam Khalid Abu-Ras, participated in last year’s program. Rev. Fanous is an Arab-Israeli Episcopal priest who has been instrumental in Arab-Jewish and interfaith efforts. Imam Abu-Ras is an educator and voice for understanding in the Israeli-Arab educational system. Joining the group this year is Rabbi Ariel Picard, an educator at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Each program will be moderated by local civic and religious leaders. Below are the program locations and dates; all meetings are free and open to the public.


Westchester: Monday, June 21
Long Island: Tuesday, June 22
Atlanta: Wednesday, June 23
Chicago: Thursday, June 24
Milwaukee: Sunday, June 27
Washington: Monday, June 28

Contact: Kenneth Bandler (212) 891-6771
        Lisa Fingeret Roth (212) 891-1385
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