Muslim and Catholic Speak on Multi-Faith Solidarity at Synagogue

Imam Abdur Rahma Speaks at Synagogue. Photo: Dan Loeb.

Imam Abdur Rahma Speaks at Synagogue. Photo: Dan Loeb.

by Frances Novack

In a demonstration of community strength after the weekend attack on the Mt. Carmel cemetery, people flocked to an interfaith evening of song, prayer, and speeches at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. The event was live-streamed on Periscope.

After the regular evening prayer, the program, organized by Rabbi Neil Cooper, featured brief speeches of solidarity by Professor Philip Cunningham, co-director of the Jewish-Catholic Institute at St Joseph’s University, and by Imam Abdur Rahman, Principal of Al Aqsa Academy, a K-12 charter school in Philadelphia.  Both speakers evoked shared  American and religious values in opposition to the recent attacks on Jewish sites in the Delaware Valley and nationwide.
Additionally, congregant Daniel Segal, chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, offered remarks on the organization’s work when faced with such events.  Rabbi Cooper, in his comments on the current situation, also cited that day’s threatening phone calls to a local Jewish school and community center, while beginning and ending the program with Hebrew singing, which garnered wide participation.  Attendees also learned about  future ways to help, including a broad-based community gathering on Independence Mall on Thursday.

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