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Harmony Forum

Peace from Harmony
The sprouts of a new culture of harmonious peace: modern examples



Jan Jacobsen


is the state standing without o­ne single weapon without o­ne single soldier



 has the state with no other defensethan the word and a united nonviolent attitude



is the state leader who o­nce and for all abolishes all use of force and weapons

- November 02 - 2006

I am a parent working for a world without violence.

This is an invitation to you, to put your voice to the global call - for a world without violence – a world in peace.

http://www.worldpeace.no/GLOBAL-DISARM-CALL.htm... in 59 languages

A world without violence is not depended o­n miracles, but our will of action.

My wish is, that we now ...

- Bring forth the white flag,

 - Stop producing and using weapons and force against each other ... simply

- Disarm !

The dream of living peacefully together, is living in everyone of us, because we all have been children o­nce.

Then it is to bring the dream forth, and make it true.

 You can put your voice to the call here ...


It is a goal to call upon all the world leaders to disarm at United Nations General Assembly

Very gratifying is it, that individuals from 102 countries, from all continents,

have given their voices to the call ...


 Here you find more of some of them ...


Wish you and yours all well

Thank you

 Yours sincerely

 Jan Jacobsen

jan@worldpeace.no     www.worldpeace.no


May 12, 2007

Celine Leduc

 The numerous stories in Hadith that show that Jews and Muslims were friends.

 One of them is that in the early days of Islam the Prophet Mohammed use to turn to Jerusalem to pray like his forefather Abraham, he also prayed five times a day.

 There is the day of ascension as recorded in the Qur'an, where the Prophet goes to heaven where he meets Jesus, and Moses then Allah.A similar story is found in the Bible when Moses meets God and speaks to God o­n top of Mount Sinai.

 There is also the story where he calls o­n unity between the People of the Book and says it is fine a Muslim man to marry a Jewish or Christian woman, the downside is a Muslim woman does not have the same right.

Maybe we can find a new story that comes out of the world of women, o­ne of them deals with marriage the other with war and peace treaties and an unjust ruler.The Prophet did marry a Jewish woman and she was accepted as o­ne of his wives and treated equally plus she was allowed to keep her faith and go o­n practicing.Anotherstory made popular deals with war and peace,the Prophet had signed a peace treaty and was invited to eat a meal, as sharing food meant friendship and trust.One Jewish woman did not trust the idea that Mohammad was a Prophet so she tested him.She wanted to know if hetruly was a prophet or expose him as a false o­ne.The story has two sets of facts o­ne he ate the poisoned meat and survived, the other he does not touch it and asked the woman why she did that,the result is however the same as he does not die.Modern story tellers in the Muslim have used this story to show the compassion of the Prophet while European scholars mostly women have used it to show the tension and distrust between Jews and Muslims.In the Muslim world the Jewish woman went o­n to live a very long and happy life, as the treaty was signed and a lasting peace was established between the two people.

Another story from the world of women is when Assia (Bathia) the wife or daughter of Pharaoh team up with Tsiporah or Miriam the mother or sister of Moses to save young Moses Musa from death at the hands of bad Pharaoh.The story shows that women did go against authority when a man was wrong. In Yemen I found out the Jewish community use this story to actually show the kinship between Jews and Muslims.There is also the story of the Queen of Sheba and how she married King David according to Muslim tradition and she bore a son who was sent to Ethiopia where the are of the covenant is still kept and guarded.

 Hope these stories can help us find o­ne that show the unity between people. 
Celine Leduc,



Trevor Osborne
What IS World Harmony?



World Harmony is made up of two primary entities; World Harmony Network (WHN), and World Harmony Foundation (WHF). WHN already exists. WHF doesn’t, but at the time of writing is in the process of being formed.





World Harmony Network is made up of individuals of a new conscious awareness who are working towards establishing an exciting, positive, parallel new society that lives and works in harmony with nature. Every person of this new consciousness is automatically part of this network – by definition – just as all human beings are part of humanity. Therefore, no o­ne joins World Harmony Network; if they are part of this new consciousness then they are part of World Harmony Network - automatically!


These wonderful people are creating, from the heart, new ways of being, new ways of doing and new ways of having. They are creating a parallel society for themselves, for their families, for humanity, and for the planet in accordance with New Paradigm Principles.


World Harmony Network, like any other collective consciousness, has a group identity as well as individual identities. By way of an analogy, the human body is made up of organs and cells. For example, the heart is an organ that is made up of different cell types such as muscle cells, blood cells, artery cells, etc. each doing their individual jobs that collectively allow the heart to do its job. Similarly, World Harmony Network is a whole collective consciousness made up of individuals, groups, and organisations - all providing unique and valuable services for the whole as well as for themselves.


Our global society is currently in transition between the old Win-Lose paradigm and the new Win-Win (no-lose) paradigm. The old societal paradigm is in the process of “de-structuring” so the time has come for the new society structure to begin. The good news is that there are now sufficient numbers of "new paradigm pioneers" ready to start this process. We are, metaphorically speaking, uniting ourselves into an embryonic group and, as such, are now also beginning to behave as a whole entity not just as individual cells as we did in the past.


The purpose of the World Harmony Network, as the whole entity, is to facilitate, support, guide, and network with individuals and groups towards creating a world that lives in peace and harmony. World Harmony Network will also initiate services where none currently exist but are needed. These services will involve researching, facilitating, and/or implementing new energy systems, new health creation methods, new agricultural practices, new educational systems, new communication systems, new transportation systems, and more. They are all different, and all work in harmony with nature ­– not against it as we did in the past.


I might add here, there is no intention to create World Harmony Network as an old paradigm monolithic bureaucracy - quite the opposite. For comparison purposes, o­ne might study the way the Internet is structured and functions. The Internet is like a web where all the interconnecting nodes, each with their own functions, are an integral part of the whole web - without any central control, and people interact within it as, and when, appropriate. Just as nobody owns the Internet, nobody owns World Harmony Network. It is important that participants understand this web/net concept, as it IS the new societal structure that is now forming.


Within World Harmony Network there is an amazing array of resources, talent and expertise, as well as cutting edge technologies that can, and will, reverse environmental damage. It is now time for us, as new paradigm pioneers, to come together to use these assets to build this exciting, new society. It is also important to understand this new society will NOT be in competition with the old o­ne; it will be a parallel society. It is important to understand that the old society got us to where we are today, and not to "judge it" as being invalid. But, it has served its purpose and is therefore fast becoming redundant.


In a nutshell:


·World Harmony Network is based o­n the belief that all people are children of the same creative source and as such it contains the same creative essence.


·World Harmony Network reflects the belief that the most evolved societies are those in which people truly understand that they are their governments and act accordingly in responsible and loving ways.


·World Harmony Network is a catalyst for change. Its primary purpose is to bring people together in a harmonious and well-rounded fashion so that each person, regardless of culture, creed, or race, is encouraged to joyfully play his/her respective part within the global family – just as each instrument plays its part in an orchestra.


·World Harmony Network is a world-wide network of facilitators of a new conscious awareness, and this consciousness is the primary determiner of our experiential reality. Whether our future is to be black and grim or light and loving is a matter of choice – our choice, our free will. Those of us who have chosen a light and loving future are the World Harmony Network!


·World Harmony Network is now creating a preferred future by imbuing humanity with the understanding that harmonious evolution is always an option, always within reach, and that a peaceful, exciting and free future can be ours by consciously creating it individually and collectively with all our hearts, minds and souls.





·World Harmony Network is NOT a formal organisation

·World Harmony Network is NOT a hierarchical structure

·World Harmony Network is NOT a membership organisation

·World Harmony Network is NOT a religious organisation

·World Harmony Network is NOT a political organisation

·World Harmony Network is NOT manipulative or controlling

·World Harmony Network is NOT beholden to anyone or anything

·World Harmony Network is NOT commercial or money driven.





World Harmony Foundation will have five primary roles:


1.To act as an Umbrella Organisation.


2.To oversee the establishment and operation of the new society prototype.


3.To accept donated funds and/or resources from the old society for the new prototype society.


4.To distribute funds and/or resources to individuals and/or groups that wish to help develop the new society.


5.To establish and fund organisations that are needed to create this new society but don’t yet exist.


WHF will act as an umbrella organisation under which other like-minded “new paradigm people/organisation” can flourish and grow. It is not about “re-inventing the wheel” – if someone is already doing what is required towards our objectives then WHF will assist them to be more effective as and where needed.


WHF will be the overseer to establish an experimental new society as a model for our future. It will be play an overseeing role to ensure that it proceeds in accordance to the guidelines outlined in the New Paradigm Principles.


WHF will also be the administrator and interface to manage and distribute funds and resources.


a) WHF will convert funds and assets into resources that are needed by the new prototype society and will therefore act as an "interface” and an “insulator” between the old and new prototype societies so it can develop and grow with the minimum of influence from old societal systems.


b) WHF will also provide funds and/or expertise to those who are part of the network that are working towards creating world peace and harmony; for example, organisations who are engaged in new paradigm healing and/or training.


WHF also has the role of initiating and creating new facilities where none exist but are needed. For example:


a) There is a great need to establish an organisation that can facilitate the creation a new health system that works with nature, not against it. Such an organisation has now been defined and has been labelled the United Health Association. UHA’s role will be to create a new approach to health based o­n “health creation” technologies and methods rather than disease eradication that was the old “crisis management” approach in the past.


b) To create an organisation to be called Technology Assessments. Its role will be to identify, assess, and facilitate the research, development, production and use of beneficial new technologies.


c) To establish a new energy research and development foundation to help bring to fruition o­ne or more new energy systems that have the potential to replace fossil fuel systems.


WHF will have its own management team that will oversee and/or organise the above projects.


Trevor Osborne – Updated – 26st July, 2004


Published o­n the site "Peace from Harmony": Febriary 4, 2007



Yehuda Stolov


Sprouts of the Arab-Israeli harmony


Olive Harvest


On Wednesday, November 15th 2006, a joint encounter of 80 Arab and Jewish students of the 6th grade, from Karmiel and Majd el-Krum, took place, aiming at bringing the hearts closer together between the two peoples, through the students.


The encounter had four parts:


A. Joint learning about the olive tree, its origin, its kinds and its characteristics;

B. Work in the field – students picked the olive fruits and sorted them;

C. Visit to an olive press in Kfar Yasif in order to watch the process of the oil production;

D. Joint meal of olive products, olive oil with Labaneh and Zatar, Pitta bread….


Finally, the students summarized their activities and experiences and asked their teachers for more such activities.


Joint Learning o­n Nutrition


On November 30th a joint encounter of Muslim and Jewish mothers and educators, from Karmiel and Majdel-Krum, took place with the participation of 15 Jewish mothers and 30 Muslim mothers.


The mothers heard a lecture by Dr. Kamal Husseini about right nutrition for their children and about using plants of the Land as substitutes to chemical medicines. At the end of the lecture the mothers asked many questions and through his replies the doctor revealed the importance of food made of vegetables and plants and asked the mothers to always return to nature and in nature we have all we need.


After the lecture we had a joint meal of the mothers and teachers, made of natural ingredients o­nly,without any preservatives.


The mothers signed a joint document, stating that from now o­n they will pay special attention to servingtheir children with natural and vegetarian foods.


Group's coordinators: Najeeba Sirhan and Osnat Aram-DaphnaReported: Najeeba Sirhan


(* We are grateful to the Embassy of the United States of America to the State of Israel for their  support for this program)


Dr. Yehuda Stolov,
Director, The Interfaith Encounter Association, P.O.Box3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel, Phone: +972-2-6510520, Fax:+972-2-6510557, Website: www.interfaith-encounter.org,E-mail: yehuda@interfaith-encounter.org


December 18, 2006



Lia Diskin


Approval of the Federal Parliament of Peace Culture Council in Brazil



Dear Partners in Peace,


I am very pleased to inform that the Federal Parliamentary Culture of Peace Council was created in Brazil - a permanent, deliberative body of the legislative branch.


The bill (nє9 of 2003) was approved unanimously by the Federal Assembly o­n November 23, 2006. Please finda rough translation below.


We are confident that this will be a space for the collective will, in which the community's initiativeswill be able to establish a dialog with governmental action. This partnership will certainly create swiftand efficient tracks to make culture of peace a commitment that is nurtured and updated constantly inorder to strengthen democracy, dialog among cultures and spiritual traditions, sustainable development,and provide better opportunities to the young and deprived.


With a spirit of celebration, I send you my best regards,


Lia Diskin

Associacio Palas Athena



Lucy Alferova


Peace and Harmony Museum in the Chelyabinsk gymnasium


I am Director of the 76th Chelyabinsk gymnasium and want to inform, that the pedagogical collective and children support creation of the Harmony calendar. We solved, that the dates need to be fixed by work. We planned to create the Peace and Harmony Museum o­n the basis of this calendar. We are ready to discuss and to propagandize this remarkable idea.


Lucy Alferova,





September 03, 2006



Pierre Fosseprez


Intercontinental Caravan for Peace at Gaza

A Great Caravan for Peace in Harmony

September 11th, 2006



On September 11th, 2006, it is the hundredth anniversary of the decision of Gandhi to search justice by nonviolence and civil disobedience. It is also, do we need to remind you, the anniversary of the attempts in the United States.


OnSeptember21st,itis the International Day for Peace. o­n that day, I had wanted to organize a festival for Peace, at Gaza, in the middle of the Near East conflicts.ButsinceeverybodycannotgotoGaza,peoplewho wanted to nonethelessdosomethingconsideredorganizing an event in their area, which fitsintothelistofanumberofevents organized o­n this same day. For instance,therewillbea didgeridoo meditation which will go all around the planet.


Envisaged events are recorded o­n the following sites:




But since days pass and that means to get there by air are always so uncertain, I decided to propose the idea of going by road, with our old vans and other jalopies... From eleventh till twenty-first of September, it leaves us ten days to arrive there.


For our part, we shall leave Limousin at the end of morning. To get to Millau, first point of meeting and gathering of the different groups which will leave from other places in Europe. But other groups should meet, elsewhere o­n the five continents.


Every at evening halt, we shall take our meals with all those who will join us, who will have brought a little something. Concerts and convivial shows will be organized, for a price left « to your good heart » to put some petrol in our vehicles: the return trip costs about 1 000 Euro by van. (Foryour information, I have 89 cents left today).


All this is organized to help the people of the Gaza Strip, who are maintained under blockade. The emergency aid is yet to be organized (interrupted Internet Connections). But it is not the o­nly reason: Gaza is particularly chosen in symbolism of the refusal of war. Everyone knows that if nothing is done, the conflict in the Near East is going to degenerate and go nuclear. And everyone also knows that they cannot count o­nly o­n our elected representatives. They need a hand to assert public opinion.


Intercontinental Caravan for Peace:




You can consult the route o­n www.viamichelin.fr by pointing out Millau (France) in departure and Adana (Turkey) in arrival. The route at the exit of Turkey remains undecided.


The stops should be 600 km. a day, with as stopovers the following cities:

Gathering in Millau o­n Sunday, September 11th of groups from France as well as Western Europe and the North. In Duplex and direct all night. Meals taken all together. Concerts.


On Monday, 12: Alessandria (Italy)

On Tuesday, 13: Ljubljana (Slovenia)

On Wednesday, 14: Beograd (Serbia and Montenegro)

On Thursday, 15: Haskovo (Bulgaria)

On Friday, 16: Gebze (Turkey)

On Saturday, 17: Adana (Turkey)

On Sunday, 18: Syria

On Monday, 19: Lebanon (or Jordan according to conditions)

On Tuesday, 20: Israel

On Wednesday, 21: Gaza (Palestine)

Route presented for information o­nly.

Note: those who will advance that it is delusive to believe we can reach Gaza, I shall answer o­nly o­ne thing . Come, and . We SHALL PASS!


Needs in Gaza:


Gaza Strip lacks everything. But in most of all petrol, to be able to assure the removal of garbage, water supply and electricity. They also need money, to mop their debts, owed to the situation there. An united and social bank is under way of organization but we need two million Euro to be able to constitute it, in Switzerland. The team necessary for this realization is ready and already working to collect the necessary funds, which will allow to intervene efficiently by giving the best guarantees.


Moreover, the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip lack everything! Therefore, all that you can provide will be welcome. Whatever means it is, by any intermediary whom you can trust. Or better, by bringing it yourself!


If we die today, your children will die tomorrow . (My buddy Swammy)


Thanks to Claude Veziau for this translation.


Pierre Fosseprez,


Universal Ambassador for Peace as part of the Worldwide Circle of the Universal Ambassadors for Peace of Geneva, Poetas del Mundo ,

Peace World Cup founder, World Wide Peace Festival at Gaza.


For more information, thank you for visiting:


Address: Domaine de Planteloup, 87210 Saint Sornin La Marche ;

Tel: 00 33 (0)555 600 798; E-mail : pierre-fosseprez@wanadoo.fr


Sergio Tripi


Folding paper flowers for religious harmony


Singapore, 11 May (BWNS) -- Young members of the Baha'i community here recently gave support to a national interfaith project aimed at bringing Singaporeans of all races and religions together.


About 40 youth gathered at the Singapore Baha'i Center o­n 15 April 2006 to fold paper lotuses as part of the Project Million Lotus 2006, which is sponsored by the Singapore Buddhist Federation. The effort aims to have young people of all races and religions make a million paper lotuses as symbols of purity and harmony. "The idea of folding a paper lotus is taken from the symbolic meaning of a lotus that grows in muddy water and yet emerges into a pure and beautiful flower," said Lynette Thomas, Secretary of The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Singapore. (…) The 40 young people who gathered at the Singapore Baha'i Center included many from Chung Cheng High School who are not Baha'is. (…)


The project has received support from Singaporean President S.R. Nathan, as well as from the Central Singapore Community Development Council, Trust Central, the Inter Religious Organisation (IRO) of Singapore, and several Singapore corporations. The lotuses were scheduled to be displayed at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza o­n 6-7 May 2006 as the highlight of the "Growing Compassion, Harvesting Harmony," Singapore celebration of the Vesak Festival.


Good News Agency, number 7 -26 May 2006


Ada Aharoni


Israeli and Palestinian youth are dreaming of Mobility and Peace



"Tomorrow's common hope: Israeli and Palestinian youth are dreaming of mobility and peace," by Franck Biancheri


After a series of seminars and discussions with Palestinian and Israeli youth, Franck Biancheri concludes that: Their elders speak o­nly of land and states, while the youth o­n both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict dream of mobility, of peace and freedom of movement within their own borders, and beyond. It is vital that Europe and the rest of the world listen and respond innovatively to such a call coming from the young people of this region. Perhaps a peace process involving this common dream of free movement and aspirations of a Peace Culture, can trigger the massive youth support needed to pave the way for a new reality of harmony and understanding in the region.


[IFLAC]Digest Number 1231, 12/03/06


Houda Abadi



Children Of Abraham Youth Leadership Internship


Please circulate this email to contacts in your community and around the world.We are searching for 18 exceptional young people (nine Muslims & nine Jews) from eighteen different countries between the ages of 16-18 to participate in an historic project. Together, they will create an unprecedented Muslim-Jewish Relations Guidebook to Mutual Discovery.It will be distributed to Jewish and Muslim communities all over the world at the end of 2006.


We need your help to get this information/application into the hands of the 16-18 year-olds in your communities.Applications are due no later than January 20th.


Applicants must be:

- highly motivated

- prepared to engage with the project via the Internet o­n a daily basis for four months

- feel comfortable communicating in basic written English with other mostly non-native speakers

- have access to a camera and a willingness to explore their religious community through photography

- knowledgable about their own religious tradition and comfortable serving as a peer educator to those from the other community

- willing to serve as an ambassador for Muslim-Jewish relations both in their own community and abroad


Please be in touch with us directly if you have any questions and thank you for forwarding this email to the right people.



Eli Epstein, Chairman

Gul Rukh Rahman, Co-Executive Director

Ari Alexander, Co-Executive Director

Houda Abadi, Director of Education

Irfan Syed, Director of Development


Discovery Program:


"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World"

Nelson Mandela


The Discovery Program is an intensive four-month o­nline seminar that is designed to act as an educational gateway in bringing together Muslim and Jewish youth to examine their current, as well as prospective relations. Youth from all over the world are encouraged to engage in thought-provoking discussions that tackle themes related to religion, political debates, and

the Arab-Israeli conflict and its effect o­n Muslim-Jewish relations. The program also provides an open forum to critically analyze the different forms of media and their impact o­n these two communities. The Discovery Program creates new opportunities and possibilities to learn about the 'other' by providing young Muslims and Jews with a platform to understand o­ne another, to appreciate their respective culture and tradition, as well as to explore the similarities in beliefs and practices.


Along the lines of the notion that "a picture is worth a thousand words", the participants also discover their shared spiritual values through photography and thought provoking discussions. Each group of the discovery program consists of eighteen students, 9 Muslims and 9 Jews, who are selected from Jewish and Muslim communities from all over the world to take pictures of Muslim and Jewish religious themes, symbols, rituals and events. These photos serve as powerful and spiritual visual tools that both challenge and prompt the students to explore and reflect o­n many issues that are considered 'taboo'. At the end of this educational journey, the students work together to publish a photo essay that serves as an educational tool for use in Muslim and Jewish schools and communities around the world. This photo essay is a combination of photos and essays compiled by the participants in order for them to share their discoveries, insights and realizations with other Jews and Muslims locally and globally.

The main goals of this four month long seminar are to:


1.Become leaders in Jewish and Muslim youth dialogue

2.Discover common theological and cultural beliefs and practices

3.Foster interaction between Muslim and Jewish teenagers around the world, with the aim of restoring a culture of respect based o­n knowledge and understanding

4.Become pioneers in the exploration of Jewish and Muslim traditions and breaking down the walls of mistrust, hate, and rivalry

5.Build creative and practical skills for peace-building and open dialogue between the two communities.


IFLAC Digest Tue, 6 Dec 2005 

Monica Willard

September 21 is the International Day of Peace

Dear Family and Friends,

I was touched to receive this clip o­n the rainbow from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Betty Williams.  It brightened my day and I wanted to share it with you.  I also wanted to use it to remind you that September 21 is the International Day of Peace.

Read down to see how you can participate in the International Day of Peace. Enjoy the clip and the rainbow photo over the UN.  Share it with others. http://www.spiritisup.com/colors1.swf

I hope that each of us will be like the rainbow, especially o­n the International Day of Peace.  Let's recognize our unique gifts and talents while linking in a complementary way with others to show love, hope and peace.  The form might not last more than a fleeting moment, but the unity and the ability to be a part of a global observance shows that peace is real and possible when our thoughts, prayers, intentions and actions are focused and united.

The United Nations Resolution  (A/RES/55/282)  "Invites all Member   States , organizations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of
the global ceasefire."

I invite you to create a peace moment or join others in observances, vigils, prayers community service.  Take time at 12 noon for a Minute of Silence. Use the International Day of Peace as an opportunity to add your individual commitment to building a culture of peace.  For more information and ideas please go to:


I also want to share a picture I took o­n the evening of June 22, 2005 following the UN Conference o­n Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.   o­ne of the outcomes from that conference was to promote the International Day of Peace.  This rainbow can inspire all of us!

May Peace Prevail o­n Earth,

Monica Willard

United Religions Initiative
United Nations NGO Representative

The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

IFLACDigest Number 1088, August 27, 2005
Hilarie Roseman

Sign of Hope in Australia

Barney Zwartz

Bridging the gulf: a revolutionary Melbourne project is bring Jews and Muslims together to overcome fear and hatred

Friday, March 4th, 2005, "The Age" Victoria, Australia, "Focus" page 11

Seven small girls, dressed beautifully in blue and pink, sidle shyly into the class room. Accompanied by an electronic keyboard, they sing three songs, to the enthusiastic applause of some 60 adults and children. It could be a special event at any suburban school, but in this classroom a revolutionary experiment is unfolding. The audience is made up of Muslims and Jews who have committed themselves to a year of mutual engagement - meetings, picnics, seminars, discussions, sharing religious feasts and inviting each other into their homes.

On this warm Sunday afternoon, about 30 Jews have made the long trek - both physically and culturally - from Caulfield and St. Kilda to Broadmeadows to share some music and food. The seven girls sing three Sufi spiritual songs and cantor Andrew Kolb replies with songs in Hebrew and Yiddish. The Muslim mothers have prepared enough traditional dishes to feed the Israelites' exodus from Egypt.

"Most Muslims have never met a Jew, and most Jews have never met a Muslim. Each have deeply held prejudices about the other" says Julie Ruth, whose long term vision is being realised in this class room at Isik College, and over the year long program called Building Bridges: Jews and Muslims....

Jewish barrister Jonathan Slonim says: "Some of my friends are secular humanists, and I think that as Orthodox Jews we have more in common with Muslims o­n some issues. Their lives revolve around the (religious) festivals, from o­ne to the next, as do ours. o­ne thing that struck me about the Muslims is that they seem to be very well versed in their religious precepts."

Slonim thought they would just dip their toe in the water and see what they made of it but now they are carrying o­n. "I was apprehensive driving up to that first meeting," Jonathan says. "I wasn't sure what to wear, what to say. We were told Muslims families have less in common with each other than us - Turks, Sri Lankiness and Indonesians have very little in common. We found people very eager to mix and talk, but very respectful. I was possibly over-diplomatic in asking questions but the message was clear, ask what you want, as long as it's genuine."

Many Muslims were also struck by how much they had in common with the Jewish families. Emre and Fulya Celik were the last to leave the Australia Day picnic, along with three Jews whom they invited to their home for coffee a couple of weeks later. Fulya says: "Our similarities summon us to come together. That's how I feel about this program.

Emre agrees. "We have so much in common. o­ne God. The same messengers. Abraham the forefather...if we can set an example, hopefully this can spread. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. It may be utopian and we may not reach it, but we'll try getting there."

Fulya Celik was quoted by Zwartz at the end of the article.. "Fulya points to a card a friend sent here that quote as psalm from the Bible. It says, 'Behold how beautiful it is when people live in unity.'"

                                                Hilarie Roseman

Website’s correspondent from Australia

Good news from Australia

"The Age" newspaper, Melbourne , Australia Monday, April 11, 2005 , page 5 News

by Barney Zwartz

Melbourne Jews and Muslims made history last night by joining for the first time to celebrate Passover, o­ne of Judaism's most important festivals.  Nearly 100 people took part in the Passover ritual and meal at the Prahran community centre as part of the building bridges program to bring the two faiths together.

The real Passover, in a fortnight, commemorates Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt for the Promised Land some 3500 years ago, an event that is important to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.  Fred Morgan, rabbi of Temple Beth Israel, who led the Passover meal, said it was the story that bound Jews together.  "It reminds us that we are required to speak of for freedom for all people," Rabbi Morgan said.

Muslims present were fascinated.  Before the ceremony began they had little idea of what to expect and most had no idea what it commemorated.  Rabbi Morgan said the service was truncated to make sure it finished before .  And it was amended to avoid offending Muslims.  Grape juice was drunk instead of wine and the final invocation, "Next year in Jerusalem ," was dropped.  Rabbi Morgan said the ceremony, developed in the second to the sixth centuries AD after the Roman destruction of the Jerusalem temple, meant that temple sacrifices could of longer be made.  Lamb left the Passover menu then and has not been used for 1939 years.

© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005