The plan to build a community center and mosque
near Ground Zero in Manhattan has ignited a storm of controversy that
has engulfed not only the religious world but all of America. As we
gather here a few days after the 9th anniversary of 9/11, I would like
to share with you a few thoughts about what this issue means to us as
An interesting question for me from the very
beginning of the crisis has been: Where are our people? Polls indicate
that 70% of Americans oppose the building of the mosque at the current
site. (I have no numbers on Canadians.) A poll of New Yorkers indicates
that 40% of Jews in this city oppose the mosque.
Materials to facilitate a dialogue and joint study sessions between Reform Jewish congregations and their neighboring Muslim communities. Includes text study of the Torah and Qur'an; lessons on tzedakah and zakat; religious tolerance; Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism, and more.
These materials are designed to help educators encourage students to think critically about Park51 specifically and conflict in general, to ask hard questions, to learn about conflicts in life and to identify and use civil ways to resolve them.
This year, the Days of Awe, our annual season of personal reflection and repentance, have been marked by hateful speech, bigotry, prejudice and stereotypes associated with the proposed construction of a community center and mosque in the area near Ground Zero. The groundswell of opinions--shared in homes, on television and in the streets--is being heard by and may be affecting your children. We offer this guided response to assist and support you and your family in dealing with this issue.