Abraham’s Tent: Muslims, Jews and Christians dream of peace

In Omaha, Nebraska, the three Abrahamic faiths gathered for dinner and conversations.

“Conversation on Peace” was held with Rabbi Peter Knobel, immediate past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Primate of the Episcopal Church, and Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, moderated by Mark Pelavin of the Religious Action Center.

From the Tri-Faith Initiative website:

The Dinner in Abraham’s Tent: Conversations on Peace was a great success. I’ll write some more about this incredible evening when I’m not quite so tired. … We taped the evening and are producing a DVD and as soon as it is edited we will make a webcast of it available.

The Omaha World Herald reports on the event and other interfaith encounters through the initiative:

“You’re not going to change the whole world just by having one little dinner in Omaha, Nebraska,” Farhan Khan said. “But you do your small piece where you are. This is our little world, Omaha, and if we can make it better for us, then that’s wonderful. And it might give other people the incentive to try, if they see we can do it here.”

Organizers say Friday night’s event – Dinner in Abraham’s Tent – showed how support is growing for the Tri-Faith Initiative, a joint project of Temple Israel, the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and the American Institute of Islamic Culture and Studies. The $50-a-plate dinner benefited the effort to locate a synagogue, mosque and Episcopal church together in suburban Omaha, with a shared educational center.

It’s an idea born of practicality and lofty goals. The three religions all need a new location in west Omaha, where land is expensive, especially when they need their own parking lots.

On Friday, many people were drawn to the high-powered speakers on a panel titled “Conversations on Peace.” They included Rabbi Peter S. Knobel, past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; and Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.

Read more on the initiative at its website.

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