Cafe Finjan is a series of interfaith arts exchanges, begun in 2004 by the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) as part of its Jewish-Muslim Community-Building Initiative post 9-11. The goal of the series is to establish points of contact and nurture a greater understanding between Jews and Muslims of Chicago by creating spaces for Jews, Muslims, and others of diverse backgrounds to come together and give voice to their identity and experience as part of a larger community.
Given recent events in Palestine/Israel and Lebanon, this already unique program was even more unique in spirit as approximately 150 Chicagoans gathered to watch a lineup of performers of both the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Muslims and Jews of the Chicagoland area reaffirmed their keen desire to continue in the spirit of dialogue and sharing. Performers included comedians, such as Azhar Usman, singers, and poetry reciters, each reflecting on their personal experiences on what it means to be Jewish or Muslim in our world today. Other performers dedicated their performance time to a call for peace. Performers and attendees all prayed for peace in the Middle East.
Sponsoring organizations: American Muslims for Activism and Learning (AMAL), Council on American-Islamic Relations, Chicago Chapter (CAIR-Chicago), Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals, Chicago Chapter (CAMP-Chicago), Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA).
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