Compass

Muslim Jewish Conference

Grant Awarded: 
2012
Country: 
Austria (Vienna)
Areas of activity: 
Adults,
20’s and 30’s,
Families,
Educators,
Students,
Interfaith
Background: 

The Muslim Jewish Conference (MJC) organizes meeting opportunities for young Jewish and Muslim academics and creates platforms for discussions and exchanges of ideas. The MJC aims to improve dialogue and cooperation between Muslims and Jews by reducing and preventing stereotypes and prejudices and create networks that will serve participants personally as well as professionally. Since 2010, the MJC has been following a simple model of action, namely bringing together young Muslim and Jewish leaders so that they talk to rather than about each other, engage in face-to-face interactions and together develop grass roots projects that will build bridges between communities. By developing a common language, the young leaders can begin to consider a vision of peaceful collaborations and dialogue for the future.

The first conference organized by the MJC in Vienna in 2010 brought together 65 participants from around the world, who spent five days working together produced an official conference declaration that contained positions on three contentions current social issues, namely combating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, the role of education and the role of media in Muslim-Jewish relations. In 2011 a second conference, held in Kiev, was attended by 70 participants from 25 countries. This time the focus was on collaborative social action. During the week-long programme, which included a visit to Babi Yar, nine ideas for projects were proposed. Among them the development of a Wikipedia style website to dispel misconceptions about Judaism and Islam; a Limmud-style interfaith conference for Muslims and Jews; an outreach project targeting ‘people who do not want to listen’ to others who are different from them; and a Muslim Jewish group therapy.

The MJC has begun to share its experience by running interfaith workshop at conferences and providing consultations on interfaith affairs to the World Union of Jewish Students and the European Union of Jewish Students.

Capacity building project: 

In 2012, the MJC seeks to transform itself into the ‘Muslim Jewish Agency’ (MJA), a comprehensive centre that will serve as a youth-driven point of call for activists and NGOs interested in exploring or advancing Muslim-Jewish international cooperation. The planned MJA will have the capacity to organize ongoing dialogue events throughout the year. It will also act as partner and resource for communities, institutions, academics, the media, grassroots and start-up organizations, providing them with expertise on Muslim-Jewish relations and offering a networking platform for existing interfaith institutions.

Number of employees:

2 full-time