Articles by Ari M. Gordon

Jews And Muslims Are Fasting Next Week. Let’s Hold The Interfaith Activities Another Time.
We’re about to see a liturgical convergence in the Islamic and Jewish calendars. On Sunday, Jews around the world will fast and mourn on Tisha B’Av, a day remembering the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem. On Monday, many Muslims will fast and mourn in observance of Ashura, recalling the death of a revered Muslim forebear in the year 680. The occasions share parallel themes and practices, and they may tempt leaders on both sides to use the convergence as an occasion for joint activities. But Muslim-Jewish relations will be best served if we don’t come together for this commemoration.
From Conflict To Cooperation: Lessons From The Road To Muslim-Jewish Partnership
When I started my career in interfaith engagement 16 years ago, Muslim-Jewish relations were generally characterized by friction and mutual suspicion. Today, conventional wisdom in both communities supports engagement over estrangement and cooperation over conflict. However, constructive partnership is not inevitable. For those seeking to travel the road of Muslim-Jewish relations, here are 10 useful tips.
Difficult Conversation & Global Jewish Advocacy: Lessons Of The Past Century
The imperative to engage in difficult conversations – like the notion of leadership itself – is premised on the principle that change is possible. Painful relationships may be healed, challenging dynamics may be transformed and stubborn misconceptions may be upended. We take risks to reach across divides, because we believe that the way things are need not continue forevermore. For Jews, the idea that growth and change are possible is built into the fabric of our holiday cycle and our Torah.
As Hate Crimes Increase, So Must Our Understanding Of The Problem
We know far less than we should, even as the rise in hate crimes erodes American social cohesion and jeopardizes our constitutional freedom of religious expression. Furthermore, massive underreporting stymies our response to a scourge against Americans of all backgrounds.
Fastabiqu l-khayrat: Honoring Difference As A Way To Come Together
Since my relatively sheltered youth I have formed many friendships with Muslim men and women, and I have seen the beautiful role that Islam plays in their lives. I have learned that Jews and Muslims share a commitment to the welfare of our own peoples—”‘Am” in Hebrew and “Umma” in Arabic.
Healing Black-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish Divides
Some in our communities consider our friendship peculiar. What could an Orthodox Jewish academic from New York and an African American imam raised in North Carolina have in common? But over the years we have built trust on a foundation of mutual respect and joint action. We visit, learn about, and teach in one another’s faith communities. We stand in solidarity when the other’s people are attacked. Above all, we nurture a bond of brotherhood through our shared human experience.
25 Years After Srebrenica, What Happened to ‘Never Again’?
As we remember the millions of innocents murdered during the Holocaust and the massacre of thousands in Srebrenica, let us honor their memories by striving to work together as free people to foster peace and healing in the many places of war, conflict and human suffering.
U.S. Modern Orthodox Jews and Muslims Find Common Ground
This month, my organization, American Jewish Committee, organized a ground-breaking visit of Muslim religious leaders from across the country to Y.U. and Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) High School, two flagship Modern Orthodox institutions.
To Defend Jewish Interests, Engage Across Differences
Contrary to what a few strident voices would have us believe, Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States are flourishing.
Circle of Friends Repairs Relationship Damage
The Leaders Academy, a school housed in the mosque, recently allowed a children’s Arabic language performance about the “liberation of Palestine,” in which students danced to a song promoting gruesome violence and recited passages praising martyrdom. Educating children to lionize violence is clearly a danger.
Why the Attempted Attack on Islamberg Should Alarm Jews, Too
While none of the many Jewish bungalow colonies in the nearby Catskill Mountains have been falsely maligned as a “terrorist training camp” as Islamberg has, American Jews should be alarmed by both the false accusations and the plot to violently attack the community.