MPAC in the News - NewGround: A Groundbreaking Muslim-Jewish Partnership

February 9, 2007

By Abdussalam Mohamed
Southern California InFocus, February 2007
Click here to read the entire article.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) have recently launched NewGround, a bold new program that aims to jumpstart dialogue and community building between American Muslims and Jews. The program intends to put forth a new initiative for creating a dynamic and constructive way to promote Muslim-Jewish relations.

"The program has been on our minds for a long time," said Aziza Hasan, MPAC's Interfaith Program Coordinator. "Each time tensions rise in the Middle East we feel that Muslims and Jews need to be talking to each other," she added.

Malka Fenyzesi, PJA's Interfaith Program Coordinator echoed that sentiment by saying, "We want to be engaged in an honest and constructive dialogue that brings Muslims and Jews together."

According to Hasan, NewGround is the result of extensive research of previous Muslim-Jewish dialogue conducted in the Los Angeles area and around the country. Fenyzesi said that many in the Jewish community are looking to engage with the Muslim community in a substantial way.

In order to implement its challenging vision, NewGround has a four-pronged initiative. An intra-faith phase that will invite members of the same faith to address issues that pose both challenges and opportunities for understanding the "other;" an inter-faith phase, which would encourage Muslims and Jews to learn about each other and discuss common ethnic and religious issues such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; a civic engagement phase that would prompt members of the two faiths to address a joint social issue within the city of Los Angeles; and a fourth phase that would deal with each community's Achilles Heel: The Palestinian/Israel issue.

Asked whether the Middle East conflict could be divisive enough to potentially derail NewGround's efforts, Hasan was confident it would not. "We've conducted a research project on interfaith initiatives across the country and were able to learn from models already in place," she said. According to Hasan these existing models are based on academic research conducted by university professors and organization leaders.

"The goal of this dialogue is not to agree as much as it is to listen and try to understand each other," said Fenyzesi. (MORE)

Click here to read the entire article.



View All


    No documents found.

Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.