Jewish and Muslim leaders to hold joint prayers for peace at Fountain Square

Read the press release below regarding this event July 15:

(EVANSTON) In response to the current violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Jews and Muslims will gather in Evanston’s Fountain Square (at the corner of Sherman Ave. and Davis St.) on Tuesday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m. to offer prayers for peace and hope. Prominent Jewish and Muslim leaders will offer statements and prayers for peace and healing; to express sorrow over the loss of life and to create a vision of hope.

collective fast  will be held by Jews and Arabs around the world on July 15 when their two calendars converge: The Jewish Fast of the 17th of Tammuz (commemorating the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem before the Temple was destroyed) and the middle of the Fast of the Month of Ramadan (the Muslim fast month).

This event is inspired by Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli poet, who posted the following on his Facebook page last week:

On the way to the shiva [mourning] at the Fraenkel residence [Naftali Fraenkel, one of the four murdered teenagers] (8 settlers and Palestinians packed into a Toyota.  This is not the beginning of a joke…) the following idea started to gel:

For both traditions, this is a day dedicated to taking an accounting of the soul, to taking responsibility, for correcting and purifying, to turning in repentance.  The plan is to direct two peoples on this day to a kind of summit, during which everyone is invited to take part, to fast in identification with the suffering, the violence, the pain of one’s self and the other, to ask how we will break the cycle of violence and to create a vision of hope.

The event in Evanston is being organized by Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet Synagogue and University of Illinois-Chicago Professor Sam Fleischacker; “The purpose of this event is to express hope and peace, not to take political stances or cast aspersions on one side or the other,” said Rabbi Andrea London. “We are concerned to show empathy for each other’s pain and to share in a collective prayer for peace, and a better future for both peoples,” said Professor Sam Fleischacker. Similar gatherings are also taking place in New York, Washington D.C., California, London, Philadelphia, around Israel and the Palestinian territories, and in Kuwait. A social media campaign with the hashtag #fastforpeace is also underway.

Details:

Who: Chicago-Area Jewish and Muslim Leaders.

What: Prayers for Peace and to end to the suffering and violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

When: Tuesday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m.

Where: Fountain Square in downtown Evanston at the corners of Sherman and Davis.

For more information about the Jewish-Muslim Fast on Tuesday, July 15 please visit Fast For Peace and Choose Life.

For more information about Fountain Square event or to schedule interviews contact Susan Baum, Communications Manager for Beth Emet Synagogue at sbaum@bethemet.org or 847.869.4230 ext. 300.

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