B.C. Dodge & R. Mordant Mahon talk to Amanda Quraishi in this episode of “What a Relief!” — IRUSA’s official podcast.
In this episode, she talks about her work with this unique national grassroots organization. It was founded in New Jersey by a Jewish woman who decided to take matters into her own hands and bridge the divide between people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths.
She describes the effort as “an exercise in humanizing one another.” It started as simple meetings at women’s homes for people to get to know one another, and followed a very simple human model. “It’s a very natural and organic relationship building strategy,” she says.
Over the year, what happens is long-term bonding that spans Muslim and Jewish holidays, and allows them to experience challenges and triumphs together. “You get into a rhythm with one another,” she says.
And while she enjoys the commonalities that emerge, she actually appreciates most the differences. “Personally, I think the things that are most interesting are the things we don’t have in common,” she says. “It’s a safe place to have those conversations.”
“I’m not interested in a kumbaya type of thing,” she says. “I really think it’s fascinating to watch people’s differences and how they play out, and how they work together in a pluralistic environment.”
Tune in to this special episode to find out how something as simple as a home gathering can transform into shared customs and holidays and even brainstorming ways to better the community. “Right now is a really fascinating time in America because you’re seeing Jewish and Muslim Americans really reaching out to one another and seeking opportunities to work together,” she says.
Find out what Amanda means by the phrase, hummus activism, and how to avoid minimizing important issues for the sake of getting along. Join the “What a Relief!” Podcast for an important conversation on how to forge relationships and plan for the future.
“I think we should all do whatever we can with what we have where we are. And we need to not tear down one another while we’re doing that work.”
This was originally posted on IRUSA.org