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Antisemitic and anti-Muslim incidents have spread brazenly this spring in the U.S. and Canada. On Sunday, police said a man in London, Ontario (Canada) targeted a Muslim family, killing four by driving his truck into them as they took an evening walk. 

Here in the United States, both the Anti-Defamation League and the Pew Research Center have documented a troubling surge in antisemitic bias incidents and hate crimes in the United States. Antisemitic graffiti has appeared in neighborhoods and synagogues across the country, and open assaults and threats targeting Jews have occurred in very public areas, including Times Square.    

While these crimes may feel far away, their impact is felt here in Maryland and connections are closer than we think. Indeed, a member of the ICJS learning community is related to the Muslim family murdered in Canada. Whether the crime is murder, harassment, or assault, the ugly hate of these crimes shakes each of us, wherever we are.

These attacks require us to speak out against religious and racial hate. Rabbi Sandra Lawson, director of diversity, equity and inclusion with Reconstructing Judaism and an alum of the ICJS Emerging Religious Leaders program, told NPR that people need to speak up: "People's allyship should not be conditional... You should do it because it's the right thing to do."

UPCOMING EVENTS

Dabru Emet: 20 Years Later with ICJS logo on watercolor background with headshots of roundtable discussants Halla Attallah, Mary C Boys, Susannah Heschel, Laura Levitt, Malka Simkovich, and moderator Heather Miller Rubens

Dabru Emet: 20 Years Later Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
4:00-5:30 p.m.

headset with world map in place of speakertext reads

Partner Event: Thinking Interreligiously on Civic Challenges: Water Justice and the Abrahamic Traditions

Tuesday June 22, 2021 | 1:00-2:30 p.m.
International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ)

This year's ICCJ conference is all online, free, and open to the public, offering ICJS friends a rare opportunity to participate. Drs. Heather Miller Rubens and Fatimah Fanusie will be discussing ICJS' multi-year initiative Imagining Justice in Baltimore that brings the rich resources of diverse traditions into the public square to inspire and inform the work of building just cities together.

 

SCHOLAR SPOTLIGHT

ICJS scholars Heather Miller Rubens, Ben Sax, Matt Taylor, and Zeyneb Sayilgan

On May 26, ICJS scholars facilitated a 3-hour online program entitled, "Supporting Patients, Families, and Caregivers Through Interreligious Understanding." Offered through Stella Maris, a nonprofit, long-term care and nursing home facility sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and affiliated with Mercy Health Services, the program was catered toward those working in healthcare settings.

ICJS scholars discussed the differences within and between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and explored together with participants the implications for providing service to religiously diverse individuals at various stages.

The program was so well-received that it will be repeated Thursday, September 30, at 9:00 a.m. Continuing education credits are available for social workers, nurses, physicians, nursing home administrators, and activity directors. 

ICJS TEACHERS FELLOWSHIP

Learning While Teaching: Pedagogy at Work
by Marisa ShultzICJS Teacher Fellow and Museum Educator at The Jewish Museum of Maryland

"The Lloyd Street Synagogue is Maryland’s oldest synagogue.... One of the amazing parts of this historic building is that it is the site of not one, but four mikva’ot (singular: mikveh), one of which is the oldest documented mikveh in the United States....

"One interesting phenomenon is that at the mikveh, more than any other space in the synagogue, students are the most likely to draw connections and see parallels between Judaism and other religious traditions. One of my greatest tasks is helping students make these connections in an accurate and nuanced way, one that recognizes the similarities that they see while also acknowledging and honoring the differences." Read more...

One of the mikva’ot of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. JMM 1988.183.004

One of the mikva’ot of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. This one was built in the early 1900s by the third congregation to worship in the building, Shomrei Mishmeres HaKodesh. JMM 1988.183.004

2021-22 ICJS TEACHERS FELLOWSHIP

(Application Deadline: June 15, 2021)

 

WHAT WE'RE READING

close-up of stars on U.S. flag, with Star of David as one of the stars

Jewish Americans in 2020

"What does it mean to be Jewish in America? A new Pew Research Center survey finds that many Jewish Americans participate, at least occasionally, both in some traditional religious practices... and in some Jewish cultural activities.... Among young Jewish adults, however, two sharply divergent expressions of Jewishness appear to be gaining ground – one involving religion deeply enmeshed in every aspect of life, and the other involving little or no religion at all."

Read more from
Pew Research Center

black man preaching from behind podium with open book in one hand and other hand open and raised

Driven by Young People and Men, the Share of Religiously Unaffiliated Black Americans Is Growing

"Black Americans have typically been more likely than Americans of other races or ethnicities to be affiliated with religious faith. However, according to data from PRRI’s American Values Atlas, the contingent of religiously unaffiliated Black Americans is growing steadily....In 2013, just 16% of Black Americans were religiously unaffiliated. In 2020, that share has grown to 21%."

Read more from
Public Religion Research Institute

open Quran in mosque, with light shining through windows

The American Mosque 2020: Growing and Evolving

"The US Mosque Survey...is a comprehensive statistical study of mosques located in the United States [designed] to provide a detailed portrait of the American mosque to dispel misconceptions and to help mosque leaders and participants better understand their mosque...."

The first report from the 2020 results is now available, and focuses on essential statistics, mosque participants, and mosque administration. 

Read more from
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

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