This event is a Muslim-Jewish interfaith dialogue for college students and young professionals in the DMV area. The conversation, which will feature guest speakers, will center around combating antisemitism and Islamophobia from the outside while also addressing prejudice and misunderstanding within our own communities. We hope to bring Muslim and Jewish young adults together to learn about one another’s faiths and experiences and to use this knowledge and empathy to become better allies united against hatred. Amidst rising antisemitism and Islamophobia throughout the United States, we need to have these conversations and advance Muslim-Jewish solidarity. Our partners in carrying out this event will be Jewish and Muslim institutions across DMV area college campuses, faith organizations for young professionals, and interfaith institutions.
Sabeeha Rehman is the author of the 2016 memoir, “Threading My Prayer Rug. One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim,” Short-Listed for the 2018 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, the book also received several other nominations and awards. She is also an op-ed contributor to the Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News. In the early 1980s, concerned about raising her sons as Muslims in the absence of a Muslim community, she set to work, and her commitment culminated in the building of a mosque on Staten Island where her family lived.
Sabeeha, who holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration, served as a hospital executive for 25 years. Thereafter, responding to her grandson’s autism diagnosis, she co-founded the NY Chapter of the National Autism Association and served as its President from 2008-11. As a public speaker, she has spent several decades engaging in interfaith dialogue and now serves as a board member of the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee as well as the NY Chapter of the National Autism Association. She blogs on topics related to American Muslim experience at www.sabeeharehman.com/blog.
She lives in New York City with her husband Khalid, a retired Hematologist/Oncologist.
Walter Ruby is a veteran activist in Muslim-Jewish relations. From 2008-2017, in the position of Muslim-Jewish Relations Director at the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, he organized hundreds of twinning events; bringing together thousands of Jews and Muslims in over 30 countries on five continents, including members of mosques and synagogues and Muslim and Jewish organizations. Ruby presently serves as executive director of Jews, Muslims and Allies Acting Together (JAMAAT), a grassroots community of Muslim, Jewish and Interfaith activists in Greater Washington; and as Coordinator of the Washington Area Chapter of Project Rozana, which works to strengthen ties between Israelis and Palestinians through health care.
Ruby is currently co-authoring a book with Muslim-American author Sabeeha Rehman entitled We Refuse To Be Enemies: How Muslims and Jews Can Make Peace, One Friendship at a Time. Ruby has worked as a reporter and commentator for more than 40 years, mainly for American Jewish and Israeli publications. His articles and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and other media.
Walter lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Tatayna.