Welcome to the inaugural 2018 issue of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® newsletter! We look forward to updating you with SOSS news, upcoming events, and chapter goings-on on a regular basis.
We will feature chapters and individuals partaking in extraordinary events as well as highlight activities that will allow you to participate locally, regionally, and even internationally with other sisters. We welcome your feedback and hope you will send individual and chapter updates to [email protected].
We wish you a healthy, happy and peaceful 2018!
January is often a time of reflection on where we’ve come in the last year and where we want to go in the next twelve months. It can be a time of personal renewal and a recommitting to the values and choices that are most significant in our own lives.
For many, 2017 was a turbulent year both politically and personally. At the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom®, it was a year of challenge, but it was also a year of tremendous growth and change. Across North America, we’ve seen sisters rise to the occasion to answer hate and discrimination with unity, compassion, and love. From the Unity Vigil in February to the Building Bridges trip to Azerbaijan in March, to the annual conference in November, and every week in-between, our sisters are coming together to raise their voices with a message of hope and friendship. Chapter membership growth has tripled and the list of women waiting to join new chapters is growing daily.
As I write this, we are experiencing a particularly bitter cold spell that has brought snow, ice and freezing temperatures to much of the United States and Canada. However, thinking back on the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® in 2017 and looking ahead toward 2018 kindles warmth and comfort. What memories do you most want to cherish from your SOSS experiences over the past year? Perhaps, like so many of the women highlighted below, you gathered supplies for communities in need or cooked a meal for a local shelter. Perhaps, like others, you attended your first chapter meeting, or your 100th, and were cheered by a newfound friend. Perhaps you attended the conference and spoke to one of the dozens of teen girls who are now building their own chapters. Truly, they are the future of this movement.
Whatever your special moments have been, we thank you for being part of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® in 2017 and look forward to your continued participation in 2018. The future is bright with each of you shaping it.
National Annual Conference A Success!
On November 5, 2017, over 600 Jewish and Muslim women gathered at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey for a day of inspiring lectures, workshops, and activity with fellow Sisterhood members.
Keynotes featured special guests that included Anita Diamant, Ingrid Mattson, Senator Cory Booker, Letty Pogrebin, and others. Attendee Heba Macksoud said of the day, “Through stories, examples, workshops and also, by simply breaking bread and praying together, we remind ourselves of our accountability to be good to others.” We welcomed sisters representing 27 states in the United States.
Save the date of November 4, 2018 for our 5th annual conference!
One of the unique aspects of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® is its insistence on not only turning inward and developing relationships with chapter members but also on looking outward toward other communities in need.
During the months of December and January, nearly every SOSS chapter participated in the annual Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® Sadaqa-Tzedakah day. Chapters cooked and served Christmas dinner at shelters, collected toiletries, books and non-perishable food for local organizations, baked treats for area hospital workers, cooked breakfast for a women’s shelter, distributed supplies to homeless people, and more. Read on for more news on all the great work chapters are doing!
- Women Waging Peace, Jewish Standard
- Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® brings Muslim, Jewish women together to fight hate, NorthJersey.com — video, too!
- Group of Muslims, Jews Spends Christmas Spreading Cheer, KSTP Channel 5
- Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® Brings Christmas Cheer To Willow Creek Residents, Franklin Reporter & Advocate
- Muslim, Jewish women give back to community on Christmas Day, NBC4 Columbus
- Muslim, Jewish women give back to community at Christmas, Toronto City News
- A sisterhood of peace, Jews and Muslims to join for Christmas Meals On Wheels program, The Jewish World
- Christmas charity from Jews and Muslims, My Central Jersey
- Acts of charity show solidarity, Times Union (scroll down)
- Muslim-Jewish Groups Partner For Dialogue, Social Justice Work On Christmas, Jewish Week
Upcoming Events: Regional Trainings
In 2018, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom® will be sponsoring a series of regional meetings aimed at bringing together sisters for a day of leadership facilitation training and making new relationships.
Skills addressed at the regional training include engaging chapter members in difficult conversations, deepening the meaningful dialogue that occurs during meetings, teaching the broader community about the Sisterhood and standing up to hate and discrimination. Coordinated by Janet Penn, Project Director of Training and Resource Development, the trainings will empower women to forge deeper connections within and beyond their chapters.
Training will convene in the greater Metro-DC area, NYC and surrounding boroughs, greater Philadelphia, Metro-Chicago, several areas of New Jersey and Houston/Austin. Contact Janet at [email protected] for details.
Launch of Videos and Resource Guides
Over the next month, we will roll out the launch of weekly training videos and resource guides. The videos cover an array of topics based on member request. The goal is to provide easy access to resources and to further build skillsets.
Thank you for your commitment to the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom®. You are helping to change the world, one Muslim and one Jewish woman at a time!