Rabbi to lead interfaith tour of Indonesia, Israel Jordan


 WASHINGTON (JTA) — A group of U.S. Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders will take a six-city tour of Indonesia, Jordan and Israel to discuss the role of religion in advancing peace.

The trip announced Thursday, which will include 12 religious leaders from the United States and 12 religious leaders from Indonesia, will be led by Rabbi Sid Schwarz and was being organized by the Interfaith Mission for Peace and Understanding. Participants will leave this weekend.

The idea for the trip arose from conversations between Indonesian diplomats and Schwarz, a senior fellow at Clal: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and a founder of the Panim Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.

Jewish participants include Rabbi Steve Gutow,the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public policy umbrella; Rabbi Peter S. Knobel, the Rabbi Emeritus at Beth Emet Free Synagogue in Evanston, Ill.; Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Sholom B’Nai Israel Congregation in Chicago; and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.

Following their global tour, the group will return to Washington, DC to meet with members of Congress in order to urge them to support policies that will use religion to assist in diplomacy. 

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