Congregations from four Jewish synagogues and four Muslim mosques will pair off throughout the Twin Cities this weekend, Nov. 13 to 15, for a “Weekend of Twinning” that is designed to break down stereotypes, promote interfaith understanding and combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

The Twin Cities project is part of a second-annual national Weekend of Twinning sponsored by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. 

Last year about 50 synagogues paired with 50 mosques around the country. Many more “twinnings” are expected nationally this year.

The four pairs of Twin Cities temples and mosques have developed these plans for the coming weekend:

  • Adath Jeshurun of Minnetonka and the Islamic Center of Minnesota in Fridley, together with Pax Christi Catholic Community, Eden Prairie, will explore the topic, “How does our belief in the afterlife affect our life in this world?” Sunday evening at Pax Christi.  The joint event also is part of the Interfaith Conversations Project organized by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning of St. John’s University and the University of St. Thomas.
  • In Minneapolis, Temple Israel will participate in Friday prayer at Masjid An-Nur as part of the fall series, “Come Pray with Us: An Interfaith Experience in Worship.” The series is a project of the Minneapolis Interfaith Forum.
  • Beth Jacob Congregation of Mendota Heights and the Muslim American Society of Inver Grove Heights have planned “Rabbi and Imam Read Scripture Together.” A rabbi and imam will discuss texts about Isaac and Ishmael in the Torah and Koran at the synagogue on Saturday and at the mosque on Sunday.
  • Beth El Synagogue of St. Louis Park and Anjuman E-Asghari Islamic Center of Brooklyn Park  will join in the program, “Dine and Dialogue about Faith and Daily Life” on Friday evening at the synagogue.

“It’s extraordinary that our community supports so many creative efforts to facilitate learning and establish personal relationships among those from different faiths,” said Rabbi Amy Eilberg, director of the Interfaith Conversation Project of the Jay Phillips Center, which assisted with the Twin Cities twinnings project.

For more information about the twinning programs, contact Eilberg at rebamy@eilberg.com.