Rap mogul Russell Simmons and The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (www.ffeu.org) will host a U.S. summit, promoting dialogue between Muslim and Jewish leaders this week.
On November7, Simmons and FFEU will unite a Rabbi and an Imam from 11 major cities in the United States.
Representatives from cities like Dallas, Baltimore, Dearborn and Orange County, CA will descend upon the New York Synagogue and the Islamic Cultural Center of New York City to discuss commonalities between the Jewish and Muslim faiths.
"The goal of this summit is to provide the participants with the tools to cultivate a strong communal relationship as Americans in their hometowns, and not solely as Jews or Muslims," said Simmons, who is the Chairman of the FFEU.
Religious experts from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Muslim Consultative Network, and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life will lead workshops that discuss a number of issues, including the the conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians.
"Whether Jewish or Muslim, we are all American. There is a value system and culture that we share these must be embraced and nurtured," said Rabbi Mark Schneier, President of the FFEU. "We must stop being distracted by political hotbed issues that divide us in the Middle East and learn to relate to each other within the context of being an American."
The summit will end with a dinner and remarks from Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, an active member of the American Jewish Community.