Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society on Abraham

Dr. Mike Ghouse   February 26, 2018   Comments Off on Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society on Abraham

Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society

Feb 25, 2018, Washington DC – The Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society held its monthly dialogue on Abraham, the common father of the Abrahimic faiths.  It was held today between 2:00-4:00pm at Hill Havarah Shul located at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation 212 E. Capitol St. N.E. Washington, DC. 20003.

The topic of discussion was, “Abraham and Ibrahim / Our Common Father”, a special dialogue session along with the Hill Havarah and Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque, as Cosponsors. Dan Spiro, president of JIDS says, “We’ll explore how stories about Abraham/Ibrahim can help us appreciate both what unifies Judaism and Islam and what has divided us.

A few pictures at

A few pictures at


Rabbi David Shneyer, spiritual leader of the Am Kolel and Kehila Chadasha Jewish Communities, Past Pres. of the Assoc. of Rabbis and Cantors for Jewish Renewal

Daniel Spiro, author of three books on religion and philosophy; co-founder and president of JIDS and Coordinator of the Washington Spinoza Society (

Haytham Younis, co-founder of JIDS, Muslim prison chaplain, frequent public lecturer about Islam, studied Arabic and Islamic Law at the Univ. of Madinah

Imam Rasoul Naghavi, author of three books on Shiite Jurisprudence and Fatwas and a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University.

JIDS was created based on the understanding that Jews and Muslims are first cousins in the family of Abraham.

Mike Ghouse moderated the Q&A segment, Andra Baylus is the chief organizer of the event and Gilbert is always there to volunteer.

There were several take away points, due to time limitations, I will share a few;

Rabbi David Shneyer talked about higher understanding or deeper meaning of the words that are understood in simple terms. For example, when Abraham was told to go higher up on the mountain with this son, it can be understood as going to a higher plane of understanding, rather than the physical mountain.

Dan Spiro brought up the differences and commonalities between two faiths, acknowledgment of the understanding Muslims have of Torah and Bible and vice versa.

Haytham amplified that the differences are given, it’s God’s word that is believed by Muslims, and the stories may be little different.

Imam Rasoul Naghvi mentioned about two track understanding of issues. In case of Sharia Laws, take the specific ruling and generalize it, and then take the generalized meaning and apply to today’s situation. The essence is justice.  He is the right individual to join us as a panelist for the Sharia conference that the Center for Pluralism is planning.

Mike Ghouse shared a few incidents including speaking up that Abraham had no business smashing the idols. Presenting the commonalities between Judaism and Islam, the ditto story with Rabbi Michael Akiba and the 54 hours of Radio show on Judaism with Rabbi Haas. God is not a villain of anyone, if God prefers one over the other, then we don’t need a God like that.

Some of the questions from the audience were incredible – but there was a desire in those questions that let’s acknowledge the difference and figure out how we can move forward.

To be updated with more information in the coming weeks. Meanwhile please visit for the past dialogues and upcoming events.

Personally, it was a joy for me to have attended the dialogue, it is good to know the take each one had and essentially how to think.

A few pictures at

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Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism
Washington, DC
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