Jews, Muslims start interfaith dialogue course

By Times Wires
Published December 16, 2007


Two major Jewish and Muslim organizations unveiled an interfaith dialogue curriculum Saturday and are urging their hundreds of thousands of members to use it. Both sides say it is the broadest Jewish-Muslim interfaith effort in the continent's history. The Union for Reform Judaism, North America's largest Jewish movement, and the Islamic Society of North America, the continent's largest Muslim organization, have developed a manual and video, as well as an adult curriculum on Islam. The toughest sticking points will probably be related to Israel and to stereotypes both groups carry, said Mark Pelavin, director of interreligious affairs for the Jewish group. Both have smaller dialogue programs with other faith groups.


Home fire kills parents, children

An electrical fire destroyed a family's home early Saturday, killing a man, his pregnant wife and two of their children, authorities and family members said. Jose Hernandez, 40; his wife, Aracely, 38; a 13-year-old daughter, Gema; and 1-year-old son, Jose Jr., died, officials said. Aracely Hernandez was pregnant, said Jose Gomez, who is married to her sister. Three teenage daughters were hospitalized, Gomez said. The fire was determined to be accidental, and the home had no working smoke detectors, authorities said.