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We are from Islam and Judaism
By Connie Grosch / May 9, 2019 /   Loading Disqus...

There are new ambassadors for peace in Rhode Island. Fifth-grade students from the Jewish Community Day School of RI (JCDSRI), and the Islamic School of RI (ISRI) just became the fourth class to graduate from the Partners in Peace program.

With annual support from our Bliss, Gross, Horowitz Fund, the two communities come together to plan a day of service for Martin Luther King Day. Then their fifth graders meet weekly for three months of learning and activities where students are challenged to explore issues of identity, society, and friendship by creating connections and building bridges.

Conceived of by Abdelnasser Hussein of the ISRI and Adam Tilove of the JCDSRI, the initiative has been continually evolving over the years.

 


"We are from Islam and Judaism

Sibling religions, children of Abraham/Ibrahim

We are from One God with many names

From a peaceful community, one family

Working towards equality, welcoming strangers and all who join us."


 

In the summer of 2017, a Brown University student group focused on building relationships between the Jewish and Muslim communities in Rhode Island formed BRIJ (Building Relationships: Islam & Judaism). They took on the role of hosting weekly workshops with the Partners in Peace fifth-grade students, bringing them together for lessons on service, charity (Tzedakah/Sadaqah), and teachings from both Islam and Judaism.

In the fall of 2017, Andrea Katzman took over as new head of JCDSRI. She continues to build the partnership between JCDS and ISRI with Hussein, and the collaboration with Brown students in BRIJ has deepened.

And what would their coming-together be without a service project? This year’s class wrapped up their gathering by filling bags with gifts for the children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

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