Saturday, February 17, 2007

Interfaith meeting

I am new at this game but willing to give it a try.
There are many things that are of interest to me and I am involved in various groups.
One of these groups met last night.

For the last 5 years I belong to the “I EW” - Interfaith Encounter Women group, which part of the general Israel Interfaith Encounter, that has many different group all over the country.
The Jerusalem IEW that I belong too, about 15 –20 Christian, Armenian, Muslim and Jewish women, meet once a month and learn from each other about subjects from the different religions point of view, such as dietary laws, marriage customs, mourning ceremony, Feast and Fast days and similar points of common interest.
We have a coordinator from each of the different religions. Usually we meet at the Swedish Theological Seminar in The Prophet Street, which is where East and West meet.
For Succoth, Christmas or the breaking of the Fast after Ramadan we meet at the respective home of one of our members. In between we phone each other on occasions and sometimes, time allowing, visit each other in East or West Jerusalem.

Last nights we meet to say Thank You to Elana Rozenmann, the founder of this group, who is stepping down from being the President of all the Interfaith Encounter women groups, that meanwhile have been founded in many parts of the country. She also represented the group at various Inter-religious Regional and International gatherings.
Elana had guided our group for 5 years through thick and thin, even while the Intifada and terror attacks raged, we never skipped a meeting. We got to know each other, became friends and are a closely- knit group.

One of the women offered her home for the occasion, the address and especially the entrance, which was around the corner of the street, up some steps and through a garden, being difficult to find.

It was stormy night and the rain came down in buckets. I called on my son to take me there. I remained sitting in the car, while he got soaking wet scouting around the house from all sides till he found the entrance to her apartment. Only then did he accompany me to the right place. On the return to his car he encountered three Arab- speaking women asking several people for advice how to find the place, who could not help them.
He realized what they were looking for, and in their words it was a very nice man, who guided them to the right entrance. They laughed when I told them that it was my son who had helped them.
After we had spent a lovely heart warming evening, including refreshments we had brought along, each of us addressing the retiring founder, late at night it were these same Arab women who brought me back home. For me, the eldest of the bunch, it was an evening well spent.

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