Thursday, December 15, 2011

What we're really looking for is partnership

Ted has arrived with supplies for the upcoming  New York Creates crafts fair.  Our second annual. As we're unloading, four people walk in. They've seen the sign for the Crafts Fair on the scaffolding  and are ready for the fair. I have to explain that we're not open yet. They want to see the sanctuary. I invite them in, tell of the history. And Ted speaks of the vision of the Center. Invites them to come back when the Fair opens up. But they're on their way home. To Missouri. Turns out they're Presbyterians from Jefferson City. In town for a conference on the Middle Est with our friend Mark Koenig at the UN. I tell them how supportive Mark has been. 
Hope and Mim have arrived for our meeting with Caitlin and Daisy Kahn from the Cordoba Initiative. This is part of our ongoing discussion with the Muslim group that had come to be known as the Ground Zero Mosque even though it was neither to be at Ground Zero nor fully a mosque. Daisy is married to Imam Faisel, but more important, has a long running relationship with Mim. Together, they were part of Same Difference, an interfaith project developed by SPSA, B’Nai Jeshurun and the American Sufi Mislim Association in response to 9-11. (
This is Daisy’s first visit to West-Park. So we do the full tour. She sees the chape as a great place for book readings. Mc Alpin Hall would make a great place for jummah, or Friday prayer, the main service of the Muslim week. Caitlin point to the direction where Meccah would be. And Daisy also talks of what a great place it woud be for weddings.  Indeed, what Sarah did for our gala showed what a great event space it coud be. 
But beyond all that, what we’re really looking for is a partnership. Their vision of a community that would bring Jews, Christians and Muslims together as in the years of the golden era of Muslim Spain is directly in line with our vision. Especially when it brings two old friends together. 
The damned boiler issue is standing in the way. So we’ll begin by committing to talk again. And see where we can go programming wise.
It’s time for me to go pay the champagne bill, maybe have a drink with RL, then catch up with Jim Nedelka at the office. 

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