Fall 2020 Newsletter~ Reflecting Back and Looking Ahead

Director’s Note

2020 has been a year of trials and triumphs, of unprecedented challenges and connections. You, the members of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, have been a source of inspiration, support, and friendship to your fellow sisters. We’ve heard countless stories of sisters coming through in times of need to share laughter and to lighten the load. As the year closes, we look back at where we’ve been, and ahead to where we’d like to go, and we ask you to give generously to our #GivingTuesday campaign, ensuring we continue to be able to fulfill our mission of strengthening friendships between Muslim and Jewish women and dismantling hate.

As always, please contact Samantha, Assistant Director, with feedback or questions- [email protected].

In Sisterhood,

Sheryl Olitzky, Co-Founder and Executive Director

#GivingTuesday~ December 1, 2020Together we give. Giving Tuesday. Unleash Generosity.

Each year, the Sisterhood participates in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that allows members near and far to join together and support our work. During these uncertain times, your generosity reaches across faiths, races, and political differences, demonstrating that kindness has the power to unite us all.

At 8 a.m. EST on December 1, all donations made through our Facebook page have the potential to be matched, in effect, doubling the reach of your gift. Please join us in ensuring our mission and work will continue to touch women’s lives for years to come.

Want to do more? Create a social media post sharing your “What Does the Sisterhood Mean to Me?” story and include a link to our Facebook page/fundraiser, encouraging others to follow your example. Thank you for your generosity!

Annual Tzedakah/Sadaqa Day of Service

The Sisterhood’s Immigrant Communities Advocacy and Support (ICAS) Social Justice Action Group invites you to take part in a Sadaqa/Tzedakah initiative that will raise awareness and brighten the lives of children, families, and adults seeking asylum. We are partnering with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) through their “Hope for the Holidays” campaign. The project toolkit, available through this link and also on our website, presents four easy ways chapter and community members can participate. Be sure to check out the toolkit soon, as one project, card making, closes on December 4th. Questions? Email [email protected] to learn more. Many thanks to the ICAS team for putting this initiative together!


Muslim Women Learning and Listening EventMuslim Women Learning and Listening Event

Thursday, Dec 3, 2020 7-8:30pm EST

We invite our Muslim sisters to join us for an evening of informal conversation on how we can build stronger relationships, share our experiences, and work toward the goals of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom’s new initiative, the Muslim Engagement and Empowerment Task Force (MEET). Please grab a cup of tea and join us. Questions? Email MEET Chair, Nazli Chaudhry, at [email protected]. Please note, this initial meeting is for Muslim sisters only. Thank you!

Abe Film Screening and Directors’ Talkback


SAVE THE NEW DATE– January 17, 2021, time to be determined. You’re invited to watch the recently released film, ABE, and participate in a talkback with film director, Furrando Grostein Androade, and two Palestinian screenwriters, Jake Kader and Lameece Issaq. The story focuses on twelve-year old Abe (Avraham/Ibrahim), the child of a Jewish mother and Muslim father. Abe is torn by his family’s fighting over cultural and political issues during every family meal. Follow Abe as he goes on a culinary journey to find himself and familial peace, using food to bring all sides of his family together. Stay tuned- details forthcoming!

Sisterhood’s 7th Annual Conference~ Together, We Rose!

On Sunday, November 15th, sisters from across the globe came together for our all-digital, annual Sisterhood conference! We heard from inspiring voices, attended workshops on critical issues such as immigration, interfaith cooperation, non-violent conflict resolution, and racial justice, and met with fellow sisters one-on-one. One of the day’s highlights was the debut of our teens’ music video, “We Are Many, We Are One.” If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to see their video, check it out here. Many thanks to Rokeya Akhter, Conference Chair, to the conference committee, to our wonderful speakers and presenters, and to all who made the day a success!

Regional Round-Up

Welcome to Nida Dada, who joins Sheila Sonnenschein in the Heartland (KS/MO), and Saima Koshul Ali, who joins Eman El-Badawy and Wendy Kamenshine in New Jersey as new Regional Coordinators! We are looking for Regional Coordinators in several areas, including in Westchester County, NY and greater Philadelphia. To learn more, contact [email protected].

Sacramento Celebrates Fashion 12 Sacramento-area sisters (and a few of their daughters) recently served as models at a home-grown fashion show. They visited Brown House on H, a local shop, to select outfits, and made their modeling debut over Zoom! Sisters from across the region tuned in to share an event celebrating sisterhood, fun, and fashion.

Chicago Stays Connected Sisters from Chicago have stayed busy and connected through outdoor activities, including hikes (with masks) and a visit to a local arboretum, an online training, “Combating Anti-Blackness in Ourselves and Our Communities,” and social justice activities, which included a school supplies drive, donations gathered for refugees at Bethany House, and a holiday gift drive with the Black Village Foundation.

Five Ways to Stay ConnectedZoom squares, headshots of women speaking over Zoom

One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic has been staying connected, including to fellow Sisterhood members! We present five easy activities chapter and community members can take part in to stay connected! Have a great activity or meeting idea to share? Email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

1. Watch a movie with a friend or with a group. Recent recommendations include Arranged, a full length film, and The Chop, a short film.
2. Read a book with others. Fellow sisters’ recent reads include The Color of Love, Caste, and A Sin By Any Other Name.
3. Invite a fellow Sisterhood member for a walk and talk through a favorite neighborhood or park.
4. Pick one chapter or community member and send a small treat. Include a note encouraging her to “pass on” the surprise.
5. Gather a small group and ask each woman to share a poem, quote, or photograph that resonates with her right now. You’ll be surprised at how uplifting sharing others’ art can be!

Guide to Hosting Meetings Over Zoom

Recognizing the challenges and opportunities presented by hosting chapter meetings and gatherings over Zoom, Janet Penn, Director of Resources and Training, together with chapter co-leaders, Judith May and Abeda Khanam, have compiled a guide for hosting meetings over Zoom. Read on to learn how to get the most out of your chapter meetings in the virtual world. This guide includes technical information about Zoom, as well as discussion prompts and suggested activities that have been adapted especially for Zoom use.

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