Dialogue on Human Rights - Results
The Finding Our Common Humanity dialogue between Jews and Muslims in Los Angeles was sponsored by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics located in Malibu.
The dialogue began late in March 2005 and continued for five rounds until mid-May. Approximately 20 Jews and 20 Muslims signed up with almost everyone in each group participating at one point or another. Altogether, 76 messages were written, each rated by an average of over 10 persons each.
The first, third and fifth rounds were "together" rounds where members of both groups wrote and rated messages in common to select one message to represent their common humanity. The second and fourth rounds were "apart" rounds where each group selected its own message, so for these rounds there were two winners, one from each group. Sparked by the email dialogue, a meeting of some 70 plus persons was held on May 22. That meeting included 20 of the email dialogue participants and was held in a friendly atmosphere at the Islamic Center near downtown L.A. Altogether the dialogue and the in-person meeting constituted a great success.
The messages are well worth reading in themselves and they tell a story, the kind of story we need to hear more of. The final message, adopted by both groups together, lists a five point agenda for Southern California. Clearly this message needs to be followed up on, so we are going to restart the email dialogue as soon as we have expanded our membership to 30 Jews and 30 Muslims.
"Finding Our Common Humanity" Email Dialogue Results
|Round One - one message selected by both groups together
Serving God through serving humanity
|Round Two - two messages, one from each group
|Round Three - one message selected by
both groups together
From Principles to Commitment
|Round Four - two messages, one from each group
|Round Five - one message selected by both groups
An Agenda for Southern California
We have agreed on the need to place activism in behalf of human rights at the center of our shared agenda, to honor each other's faith traditions, to promote respect and understanding between our communities, to actively interrupt the teaching of hate and to create activities and actions in Southern California which could further these agendas in our local communities and in the Middle East. I would like to see us focus on several areas:
1) Establish spiritual partnering between local synagogues and mosques for the study of text, history and values that emphasizes Muslim and Jewish convivencia.
2) Establish joint efforts to monitor and respond to human rights violations of the Muslim community in Sourthern California in relationship to the Patriot Act, as well as monitor anti-Jewish actions as they occur in our communities.
3) Actively promote Jewish and Palestinian peacemakers who work together toward coexistence and an end to state and communal violence in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and the Middle East as part of our work together.
4) Actively promote the bringing together of youth in our communities and involve them in work for human rights that arise from their concerns.
5) Bring together circles of Muslim and Jewish women who can support each other and learn about each other's unique role in Muslim and Jewish life.
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
The dialogue was coordinated by Roger Eaton, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415 933 0153. Your queries are welcome.