Jewish students share their college campus experiences with Imam amid pro-Palestine, pro-Israel protests

The group met with both Imam Shamsi Ali and Rabbi Marc Schneier at Beach Bakery Grand Cafe, a Kosher restaurant in the Hamptons owned by a devout Muslim family.

News 12 Staff

Oct 29, 2023, 2:42 AM

Updated 210 days ago

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Jewish student leaders from New York City colleges like Baruch, Pace and John Jay gathered in Westhampton Saturday to share their experiences with antisemitism and protest over the past few weeks.
The group met with both Imam Shamsi Ali and Rabbi Marc Schneier at Beach Bakery Grand Cafe, a Kosher restaurant in the Hamptons owned by a devout Muslim family.
Imam Ali is a prominent Muslim activist and leader of the Jamaica Muslim Center, one of the largest mosques in New York with over 20,000 members. Rabbi Schneier is the president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the senior Rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue.
During the event, the students shared their stories with the Imam. On Tuesday, both Imam Ali and Rabbi Schneier will meet with Muslim students in New York City to have a similar conversation.
They were inspired to hold these events after seeing both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protests on New York City college campuses.
"Antisemitism and Islamophobia is both high here in America," shared Imam Ali. "I'm sure my Jewish friends are out there fighting for my right to be a Muslim in America and as a Muslim I also feel I have a big responsibility to fight against antisemitism."
Imam Ali and Rabbi Schneier have known each other for a long time and have spent years working on interfaith dialogue. They even authored a book together, 'Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims'.
Rabbi Schneier says he hopes conversations like the one they had Saturday will help to promote a feeling of safety for students experiencing protests.
"We cherish our American freedoms, protest, demonstrations. Don't cross the line, no violence, no confrontation. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable," he said.


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