Next Tribe‘s Eileen Stukane covers the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom in a July 3 article. She writes:
Amidst the crudités and tasty Vidalia onion dip that hostess Fern Jurgrau-Schiffman had set out, Adla Karim placed baklava she had just made in her kitchen. Other women in this living-room meeting of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom had tasted Adla’s baking before, so hands quickly reached out for the lightly sweetened, perfectly flaky pastry before them. Food has a way of crossing cultures, and here it was working to bring Jewish and Muslim women together.
“Maybe we could bring more women into the group with a cooking class from Adla?” suggested my friend Marsha Malberg.
On the drive over to this meeting of the Hillsborough, New Jersey, chapter of the Sisterhood, Marsha, who is Jewish, had spoken to me about insights she was gaining from the group.
“One young woman, who is a Muslim member, was at a drugstore one evening with her two small children. They were playing in the aisle as a man tried to get by. She said, ‘Excuse me,’ and moved the children. He started to attack her verbally—and loudly. She called her husband asking for advice and he told her to leave the store as quickly as possible,” Marsha said. “These are things that never get into the newspapers. I’m sure her friends know about it, but in the past, I wouldn’t have. Now I do because I’m one of her friends.”
This kind of friendship is the goal of the Sisterhood, which wants to raise awareness and foster interfaith understanding.