I am blessed in many ways, and chief among my blessings has been my family. I have a brother who fulfills the ideal definition of brother, but I do not have any sisters and I have always felt a little bit cheated.
A built-in best friend who gets giddy with you and tells you what not to wear. Someone who loves you unconditionally and gives you strength by standing with you when the tides turn against you. The bond between sisters is a silent contract of loyalty. She will not sit on the sidelines when you are hurt, maligned, excluded or marginalized. Quite simply, she’s got your back.
When Sheryl Olitzky, our Executive Director, asked me to be the Co-President of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, she gave me the opportunity to embrace my sisters of faith. My Jewish sisters have more in common with me than not. Both the Islamic and Jewish religions are from the Abrahamic tradition, and the resulting commonalities inform the way we pray, live and eat. I get it. I get them. Their rules are different but the need to observe is the same.
For my more observant sisters, I have separate serving dishes and utensils that I store to be able to honor the rules of keeping kosher. I think of them on Friday evenings as they begin to observe the Sabbath and I try to get my last text in before sunset. I am more aware of the cycles of the Jewish calendar. That’s Sisterhood.
It is my most fervent prayer and belief, that the Sisterhood will help us to learn more of each other’s traditions, holidays and most importantly perspectives. It is my hope that we will want for our sisters what we have for our selves. That we will be able to view the issues that face our people through each other’s lenses. And that understanding will allow us not to sit on the sidelines when any one of is hurt, maligned, excluded or marginalized. Because we are sisters!
Co-President, Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom