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October 18, 2002 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-18

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Getting Along

AJCommittee leader says embracing moderate

Islamists will help neutralize extremists.

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that a religion and a civilization that had
been so liberal and positive in their atti-
tudes is now filled with such negativism

toward us."
ransforming religious diversi-
ty into a vehicle for peace
"How do we deal with this demo-
nization?" he asked. "We have to neu-
rather than conflict is the
mission of Rabbi David
tralize the extremists by strengthening
Rosen, director for interna-
the moderates. We
tional interreligious affairs g
need to promote the
of the American Jewish --E:
well-being of each
other, in keeping with
On Oct. 9, Rabbi
Judaism's plan and
Rosen spoke to about 50
vision of the world."
local AJC members on the 1,
"The reality is that
role of religion around the
Jewish life under Islam
world and how religion
was a picnic compared
can be "a force for good."
to Jewish life under
The program, sponsored
Christianity," he noted.
by Metropolitan Detroit
"Religion should
Chapter of AJC, was held
come from choice, not
at the home of Barbara
from coercion," the
Rabbi David Rosen
and Marty Rom in
rabbi said. "In Israel,
Bloomfield Hills.
the reality of the
Born and educated in England,
Sabbath is more evident on the beaches
Rabbi Rosen is a vigorous advocate for
of Tel Aviv than in the synagogues in
peaceful and respectful coexistence
Jerusalem. I consider myself pro-
among religious communities through-
Palestinian, as long as being pro-
Palestinian doesn't have to mean I'm
out the world. He previously served as
director of international relations in the
At the meeting's conclusion, Brenda
Israel office of the Anti-Defamation
League, where he later became co-liaison
Rosenberg of Bloomfield Hills — a
to the Vatican in Rome.
member of the AJC's National
Rabbi Rosen considers his work to
Commission on Interreligious Affairs
improve relations between Israel and the
and the local board member who
arranged the rabbi's visit — encouraged
Vatican as among his greatest achieve-
people to get actively involved in pro-
"Historically, the Catholic Church
moting interfaith relations within our
symbolized the de-legitimization of the
community. She suggested hosting peo-
Jewish people," he said. "The Church
ple of different faiths for a Shabbat din-
ner or Passover seder. ❑
has since undergone not only a political,
but also a fundamental theological
. change in terms of their attitudes toward
The American Jewish Committee is
Jews. They have taken a firm stand
an international organization dedicat-
against anti-Semitism."
ed to safeguarding the welfare and
Much of Rabbi Rosen's work has
safety of rews throughout the world
focused on repairing and improving rela-
by advancing democracy and pro-
tions between Jews and Muslims. Last
moting positive relations between
July, he and Prince Hassan of Jordan,
Jews and other religious groups. The
who are close colleagues, spoke about
next AJC program will take place
Jewish-Muslim relations to a special
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the
gathering of the AJC in New York.
Blue Nile Restaurant in Ferndale.
"Islam and Judaism have more in
The theme will be "Out of Africa:
common, in terms of way of life and
Update on Ethiopian Jewry" with
belief system, than any other two reli-
restaurant owner Seifu Lessanework,
gions in the world," Rabbi Rosen said.
an Ethiopian Jew. For information,
"One of the terrible ironies today, in -
call the AJC at (248) 646-7686 or e-
light of the [Palestinian] intifizda (upris-
mail detroit@ajc.org
ing) and the events of last Sept. 11, is

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