Peace Islands Institute

Jan 21st
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Abrabam's Table at Caldwell United Methodist Church

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United Methodist Church in Caldwell hosted an Abraham's Table on January 19th, 2011. We started the day of with a Turkish lunch which was provided by the IDC, which everyone enjoyed very much.  After the lunch Rev. Jeff Markay put on a 2009 documentary entitled “Talking Through Walls”, which was about the struggle of building a Mosque in Voorhees, NJ and how the Interfaith Coalition worked together as an community on making it happen.

Soon after the Documentary there was a brief discussion with speakers; Rabbi Richard Hammerman, from Congregation Adudath Israel in Caldwell  talked about how he became a little bit more knowledgeable about Islam than he was previously after the film.  He talked about a funeral on a Friday service that he had attended which he stood in the back cause of the fact he did not know much about the Islam religion, he remembered the words of the Imam “ We should all be like Prophet Mohammed , We should be Justice, We should be honest, We shouldn’t cheat anybody.

Father Anthony Randazzo, from Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church in North Caldwell mentioned 3 points. He talked about the video where he said it was a democratic process in action that takes people working together to better a community, Another point he made was “what’s in the inside will come out on the outside”, meaning if you are a good person in the inside, you will do good for the outside. Last he talked about a baptism which he had gone too, he mentioned a little girl named Abigail. He asked the little girl a question “when do we use candles?”  She replied “for birthdays and for Hanukkah”, the audience laughed. He ended his story by saying that one day he’s hoping a child saying “you see that little rug there that means we pray; we get on our knees and pray”. He’s hoping as we become more sensitive to one another religious symbols that we pray as one.

The Rev. Stephanie Wethered, from St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Essex Fells talked about her experience of 9/11, she talked about the pictures shown throughout the video that the audience had just seen in “Talking Through Walls” and how we were affected. She talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how the speaker in the film  Zia Rahman might have had it, because he talked about energy that he had kept coming to him. She ended if you want to create a better world for your family; you just have to name it.

Last Dr. Levent Koc, Executive Director of the Interfaith Dialogue Center talked about the film, He pointed out things like how after the mosque was built in Voorhees and how long it took, just a year later people become comfortable enough to allow the building of another one. He talked about how the U.S excepts different kinds of religions, and how other countries don’t. He  said, that the film was a great example of hope and ended by “We are hopeful for the future”.

Pictures from the event:

Rabbi Richard Hammerman

Father Anthony Randazzo

 Rev. Stephanie Wethered

Dr. Levent Koc


IDC Video

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