AV Co-Executive Director Aaron Hahn Tapper and AV Board member Reza Aslan will release their new book, "Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, and Complexities." Co-edited by Aslan and Hahn Tapper, this book is an exploration of contemporary Jewish-Muslim relations in the United States and the distinct and often creative ways in which these two communities interact with one another in the American context. Each of the sixteen essays discusses a different episode from the recent twentieth and current twenty-first century American milieu that links these two groups together.
As the musicians took the stage at Spangenberg Theatre on the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the excitement was nearly palatable. AV Board members Reza Aslan and Daniel Fenster kicked off the night with opening remarks, immediately followed by the UnityJam rockers, a diverse group of musicians that jammed out Pakistani rock ballads, Klezmer and Eastern European-influenced tunes, and Sufi beats. With Sunny Jain leading the group on the dhol (a double-sided barrel drum from the Punjab region of India), the program flowed easily from one musical tradition to the next. Filled with kippahs (kippot) and hijabs (ahjiba), the crowd danced in the aisles of the theater while Salman Ahmad, Yale Strom, Elizabeth Schwartz, John Alec, Lou Fanucchi, and Sunny electrified the audience with energizing beats and an overarching message of togetherness. Click here to read about the UnityJam in the Palo Alto Patch. Click here to read more about the UnityJam in the J. Weekly.
Discussion, Debate, and Growth at the VP Fall Conference
On November 11, 2010, the Vision Program Fellows arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the three-day VP Fall Conference. Happy to come together for the first time since July, when their Balkans trip ended, VP fellows reconvened at Stanford University where they delved into some of the difficult details of group process and intergroup education. Co-Executive Directors Huda Abu Arqoub and Aaron Hahn Tapper co-led the weekend, examining the personal and intergroup processes the students underwent during the summer and have continued during the "re-entry" phase of the ten-month program. VP Fellows continue to strive for social justice in their communities and beyond.
AV Graduates 40 Students from Bay Area Unity Programs—Five Years and Counting!
On June 13, 2010, Abraham’s Vision graduated its fifth consecutive class of Unity Program students in a ceremony held at the University of San Francisco (USF). Friends, family, and supporters gathered to watch the 40 Bay Area Unity Programs students recount their experiences and celebrate the completion of the intensive, 10-month program. Keynote speaker and President of USF Father Stephen A. Privett delivered a powerful speech to the graduates and attendees, emphasizing the importance of personal commitment to social activism.
VP Alumnus Fadi Quran Shares His Powerful Story with Stanford University Jewish Community
(click here to view the original flyer)
On May 16, 2010, Vision Program Alumnus (‘08-09) Fadi Quran spoke to students in the Koret Pavilion of Stanford University’s Hillel. As a part of “The Other Side,” a Stanford discussion series, Quran spoke to a Jewish-majority audience about growing up as a Muslim Palestinian in the West Bank. Despite on-campus tensions between students identifying with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the last few years, this was the first time a Palestinian student spoke to a group of Jews at Stanford University about living under Israeli military occupation. On May 24, 2010, “The Other Side” series held a follow up discussion focusing on policy issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as methods of advocacy. The events were co-sponsored by Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace.