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A Zoom Series of Reflections from
Spiritual Leaders of the Abrahamic Family of Faith

4 Wednesdays, April 22 – May 13, 2020
Hosted by MAS Boston and CMM

Register and receive the Zoom link

 This week’s speakers:

  • Rabbi Eric Gurvis has served congregations in New York City, Mississippi and New Jersey. He has long been deeply involved in youth activities and Jewish camps, interfaith and social justice work, as well as Israel programming and education. He is a past-president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, a past chairperson of the Newton Interfaith Clergy Council, and has served on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. Rabbi Gurvis is currently a member of the Newton Human Rights Commission. He is also a member of the faculty for the Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning program, which provides adult learning opportunities in communities throughout the Greater Boston area. Rabbi Gurvis is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, with a BA in sociology and Judaic studies, and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.
  • Br. Kevin C. Peterson is founder and executive director of The New Democracy Coalition, a non-partisan and non-profit organization that focuses on civic engagement in Massachusetts and across the United States. The New Democracy Coalition is in residence at the College for Public and Community Service at University of Massachusetts, Boston. Mr. Peterson studied philosophy and politics at Boston University and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Collaborative Leadership at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He has also served as a senior researcher at the William Monroe Trotter Institute in Boston. Mr. Peterson has served as a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Urban Studies Department in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has lectured across the U.S. and in the continent of Africa, including the countries of Mali, Senegal and Morocco.
  • Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni holds a PhD in Physics from Oxford University (England), a Master in Physics from London University (England), and a BSc. in Material Science. His academic career led him to teach at different universities and colleges in Europe and the United States. He held appointments as an Assistant Professor of EE at Oxford University, and an Assistant Professor of Physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is currently the CTO of Viisage Technology in Billerica, MA. Dr. Lazzouni is a Visiting Professor at the Jesuit Institute of Boston College. He was trained in Classical Islam in Traditional Schools in North Africa, and active at the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies. The focus of his training was on Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Philosophy, and the History of Spiritual Islam. He was also trained in Philosophy of Science at Oxford University.

This 4-week program that brings together congregations from the three Abrahamic traditions (Muslim, Christian and Jewish) and other interested persons. 12 faith community leaders (a representative three at each of 4 gatherings), will each offer advice to the community regarding some of the questions below (and others as they see fit), and then to open it for the congregants to reflect, ask questions, etc. The questions might be the following:

  1. What is the role of God in this pandemic?
  2. What is the role of spirituality and religion?
  3. What is the role of people of faith?
  4. How can we connect more with our spiritual being and God so that we can help the world overcome this crisis?
  5. What do we tell our children when they ask why is God doing this?
  6. And many others

This program starts on Wednesday, April 22, and ends on Wednesday, May 13, running for an hour each consecutive Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 in the evenings (Except for April 22, we will start at 6:15). 

This period of time is sacred to each of these three traditions and symbolic of fresh transcendent revelation. For Muslims it falls during the sacred month of Ramadan, April 23 – May 23, and calls to mind the year 610 A.D. when it is believed that the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad and revealed to him the Quran, the Islamic holy book. For Christians this period begins after Easter (W: April 12; E: April 19) and ends with Pentecost (W: May 31; E: June 7), 50 days after Easter Sunday which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and disciples of Jesus while they were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Feast of Weeks. Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) commemorates the revelation of the Torah to Moses and the Jewish people on Mount Sinai, May 28-30.

This program represents a chance for faith leaders to provide more guidance to our congregations regarding the role of spirituality and faith in these trying times, and to leverage this as an opportunity to anchor the faithful to God, in order to come closer to Him, to pray more, and to find answers to big questions that are often posed during a crisis. If faith leaders unite on this purpose we might collectively find an ecumenical and interfaith role in the whole of our societies toward a closer relationship with God or the mystically transcendent, which would benefit everyone.

For more information, please contact :
Hossam Al-Jabri of MAS Boston Hossam.aljabri@gmail.com
Rodney Petersen  rlp@coopmet.org  (617) 331-1747