Members of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom in Essex County, New Jersey, joined members of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel -- a Reform synagogue in South Orange -- for a Sabbath service. Occuring during the observance of Hannukah, the group of Jewish and Muslim women prayed together for peace. According to a release from Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, the inter-religious meeting on December 15 was dedicated to "building bridges of understanding and unity." According to the release, "Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom was founded to bring together Jewish and Muslim women to create relationships that fight hate and prejudice."

The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom has grown to 150 chapters throughout North America. It was founded in 2010 by Sheryl Olitzky, who serves as executive director. Chairing the board of directors is Atiya Aftab, while the Board President is Donna Cephas.

In June, members of the organization spoke at a panel organized by Congregation Beth-El in South Orange, New Jersey, and told conferees that the Sisterhood hopes to "build strong relationships between Muslim and Jewish women based on trust and respect" and "end anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiment."



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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