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Salaam, Shalom: Speaking of Peace

Free program series offering opportunities to inspire interfaith connections and dialogue among people of different faiths in our community. • FREE •

The 2013-14 Salaam, Shalom series is brought to you by multiple religious organizations across Marin, invested in the endeavor of peace.

The Osher Marin JCC Presents


FREE program series

The Salaam, Shalom: Speaking of Peace series aims to inspire interfaith connections and dialogue in a collaborative effort to foster peace locally. Each program tells the story of people who worked to overcome barriers created by religious and other differences to forge an alliance of good will, peace and prosperity. These inspiring stories illuminate how the path to peace is often paved by those with the courage to reach out to someone once considered a stranger or enemy—to listen and attempt to understand the world from another point of view.

As part of the 2013-14 series, we are excited to bring you three free programs, each planned with input by a cohort of faith organizations across Marin:

  • November 19: From Tel Aviv to Ramallah: A Beatbox Journey – This “travelogue of peace” juxtaposes a day in the life of a young Israeli with that of a young Palestinian. Combining a cappella vocal percussion with acting and dancing, this hip-hop play captures a central theme for youth cultures in the Middle East: loss of innocence.

The aim of the Salaam, Shalom initiative is to create events and, where appropriate, follow-up discussion and learning opportunities that inspire interfaith connections and dialogue. We will do this by engaging high quality speakers, performers and artists who will expose us to new ideas and perspectives.

The 2013-14 Salaam, Shalom series was generously supported by Tricia and Richard Gibbs, and co-sponsored by the the Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, Congregation Kol Shofar, Congregation Rodef Sholom, First Congregational Church - Sonoma, First Presbyterian Church - San Rafael, First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, Islamic Center of Mill Valley, Islamic Center of North Marin, International Association of Sufism, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Marin Interfaith Council, Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Saint Raphael Church & Mission San Rafael Arcangel, and Westminster Presbyterian Church


Last year, we presented three free programs as part of the Salaam, Shalom: Speaking of Peace series. Attendees received an "Act for Peace" Toolkit with multi-faith resources and information for further exploration of interfaith programs that promote peace. To learn more about each program, see below:

2/27/13: "Delicious Peace" : Film & Tastings

3/6/13: Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

4/10/13: "My So-Called Enemy" with Director Lisa Gossels



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"Delicious Peace": Film & Tastings

On Feb 27, 2013, we presented the documentary "Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean" about Jewish, Christian and Muslim Ugandan coffee farmers who, despite a shared history of conflict, form a fair trade cooperative to build peace and economic prosperity. Living in the lingering wake of the Idi Amin regime of terror and intolerance, these farmers challenged historical and economic hurdles to build harmonious relationships and bring economic development to their region of Africa. Partnering with a Fair Trade US roaster, the farmers' standard of living continues to improve, peace is flourishing, and their messages of peace and fair wages are spreading to their coffee customers in the US. Hear from the filmmakers, Curt Fissel and Ellen Friedland while tasting fair trade coffee and chocolate from Fair Trade Judaica.



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"Agents of Change: Dialoguing Across Differences" with Dr. Izzeldin  Abuelaish 

On March 6, 2013, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish spoke here at the Osher Marin JCC. Despite the loss of his three daughters by Israeli rocket fire in 2009, Dr. Abuelaish's doctrine is that hate is not a response to war. Rather, open communication, understanding, hope and compassion are the tools to bridge the divide between Israeli and Palestinian interests. Dr. Abuelaish will discuss the power of understanding and action to inspire hope to end conflict around the world. Born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, this Palestinian peace advocate has dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace in the conflict, and has succeeded despite all odds through a great determination of spirit, a strong faith, and a stalwart belief in hope and family. Dr. Abuelaish has become one of the most prominent and beloved researchers, educators and public speakers on peace and development in the Middle East. Author of I Shall Not Hate, he now lives with hisfamily in Toronto, where he is an associate professor at the University of Toronto.



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"My So-Called Enemy" with Director Lisa Gossels

In July 2002, a group of Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls came to the US to participate in a women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace. While some had lost friends and family, all bore the psychological and emotional scars of living in a war zone. Part expose on the humanity and complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, part coming of age story, "My So-Called Enemy" follows the life of six of the girls and how their transformative experience in the program, of knowing their "enemies" as human beings, meets with the realities of their lives at home in the Middle East over the next seven years. The audience viewed this timely and timeless film about the power of individual narratives to open hearts and minds, build multi-faith and multi-cultural understanding, challenge long-held pre-conceptions, and create the space for dialogue, with the goal of creating more just societies here and abroad. Before the film, the director, Lisa Gossels, presented an identity workshop for a small group of teens.