If you are a Muslim who has never spoken to a Jew
Or a Jew who has never met a Muslim
If you are angry, suspicious, even hate the other 'side'
If you want the chance to represent your faith
To educate the 'other' about your beliefs, your culture, your religion's way
To be educated in return
To speak your mind
We are for you.
Children of Abraham is a non-profit organization that invites
young Jews and Muslims from around the world to be part of a new community,
grounded in the realities of suspicion and unfamiliarity that characterize
the relationship between Islam and Judaism today. The programs we run offer
participants the opportunity to explore that relationship safely, through
online discussion groups, social entrepreneurship and photography.
During March-April 2005, participants in the project will enter
Muslim and Jewish communities in the cities and towns in which they live,
and take photographs representative of religious life from their own
perspective, including ritual, symbols, culture and other themes connected
to Judaism and Islam. You will share these photos with over 100 other Muslim
and Jewish participants from 40 countries around the world via a closed
website created for this purpose, engaging in discussions via message
boards, chat-rooms, voice- and video-conferencing, as well as in guest
sessions with leading religious scholars and related speakers. And if, once
the project has ended, you feel empowered to bring what you have learned
back to your own schools, colleges and communities, to speak out- we will
continue to provide you with resources, contacts and support to make sure
that your voices are heard.
The truth is, what happens when Muslim and Jewish youth get
together is sometimes explosive, sometimes emotional, always fascinating.
But the good that can come out of facing each other honestly is
unquestionably worth the effort- as previous participants in CoA's programs
will tell you. We know our differences all too well. But discussing our
perspectives from a religious point of view may bring us closer to accepting
those differences, and learning to recognize our similarities.
Last year's participants:
- constructed a powerful photo essay of Jewish and Muslim themes that is
scheduled for display at the UN headquarters in New York, and at both the
Israeli and Palestinian parliament buildings.
- have independently organized exhibits of their photo essay in schools,
universities, mosques and synagogues from the US to Pakistan and Egypt.
- have initiated Muslim-Jewish dialogue groups at their schools and
connected Jewish and Islamic high schools with one another
- have generated publicity and media attention, speaking with local and
national newspapers and television stations
- contributed to the development of CoA programs
- continue to communicate regularly with one another through the CoA network
Applicants must be:
- Muslim or Jewish, or have a strong interest in Islam/Judaism
- Aged 15-20
- Able to communicate in English
- Must have regular access to the Internet
- Must have access, or be able to gain access to a digital camera or a
traditional camera + scanner
Successful applicants will receive a username and password to
enable them to log onto the website. They will be expected to submit a
minimum of 50 original photos, and post an average of 5-7 relevant messages
on the discussion boards per week, in addition to contributing to scheduled
live chatrooms with other members of the group. The project will run from
March 15th- May 15th 2005.
Selected applicants will be informed of their acceptance within
one week of the submission of their application.
Any questions about Children of Abraham should be directed to
Ari or Maria at
Co-directors of Children of Abraham:
Ari Alexander, an American Jew, has completed Masters degrees in Comparative
Ethnic Conflict and Modern Middle Eastern Studies, and has worked with
teenagers and university students in conflict resolution and cross-cultural
Maria Ali-Adib, a Syrian Muslim living in London, has worked with
international organizations to develop student-centered approaches to
education reform, and has recently obtained her Masters degree in Managing
and Implementing Development Projects.
Please email your completed application to
OR fax it to (+1) 718-237-8765 no later than March 10th.
Please include a photograph of yourself as an email attachment along with
the following information:
Date of Birth
Where will you be living/traveling from March 15th-May 15th 2005.
Please answer the following three questions:
1) Describe yourself, your life and your religious background in one
2) What comes to mind when you think of Judaism and Islam? (250-500 words)
3) Why is it important to you to be part of this project? (250-500 words)
Children of Abraham
c/o International Center for Tolerance Education
25 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201