Important Encounters


In “Where Muslims, Jews Clash — And Hug” (Nov. 20), Gary Rosenblatt writes about
the lack of knowledge that American Jews and Muslims have about each other, and the importance of hearing “the other’s truth.”

At the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, we agree that these
“authentic encounters and honest conversations” are critically important
— and our school has been enabling them for our fifth grade students for
almost 10 years by participating in the Interfaith Living Museum at the
Museum of Jewish Heritage. This program provides opportunities for students
at two Jewish day schools and two Muslim schools, to share stories, 
artifacts, and personal narratives and to develop authentic relationships
over the course of a semester. These 10- and 11-year-olds also eat meals
together, visit each others’ schools and places of worship, and play sports
and games together — that is, they learn to regard one another as people, and

It is our hope that such opportunities for young people to develop
relationships, gain information, and be exposed to new points of view, can
help prevent the “locked-in Mideast narratives” that Rosenblatt
references, and, in these early, formative years, open our children’s
“hearts and minds” in a way that remains with them throughout their

Parents at Solomon Schechter School of