Why I am Jewish, Christian, Muslim...Recommitting or Choosing One's Faith in Adulthood

Ellen Blum Barish - is an author, writer, speaker and writing educator. As a  longtime, active member of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, she has taught  religious school, helped launch and write the synagogue’s blog, co-produced  Iftar in the Synagogue and Café Finjan with the Jewish-Muslim Community Building  Initiative as well as several synagogue events with Evanston’s Second Baptist  Church. She has also been an active Soul Space participant and board member who  co-facilitated an interfaith arts circle.

Patt Moser - is a retreat and spiritual reflection group leader and a postulant for  ordination as a deacon in the Episcopal Church. She is a graduate
of the Shalem  Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington DC. Pat is a newly appointed  board member of Soul Space.

Tahera Ahmed - serves as an  Associate Chaplain at Northwestern University. A native of the Chicagoland  Muslim community, Ahmad studied classical and traditional Islamic Sciences in  the five year Alimiyah/ Shariah program at the Institute of Islamic Education in  Elgin IL. Following traditional madrasa studies, she continued graduate studies  in Arabic at Al-Diwan and Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt and in Department of Islamic  Studies and Christian Muslim Relations and Islamic Chaplaincy at Hartford  Theological Seminary in Connecticut. Ahmad has received graduate certification in various religious fields including Applied Spirituality in Women’s Leadership  from the Women’s Leadership Institute at Hartford Seminary, Certification in Arabic from Al-Diwan, Ijaazaat in Quranic Recitation (Tajweed) and Islamic  sciences from renowned Muslim Scholars. She has served as the Muslim Chaplain at  Mt. Holyoke College, and as the Department Head of Islamic Studies at one of the  largest Muslim Schools in the Nation, Islamic Foundation School Villa Park.

Women of Ordinary Courage

Our event was held at the Beth Emet Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL

Mary  Ali, was a beloved member of Soul Space and Director, Institute of Islamic Information and Education is board member of the Council of Islamic Organizations of  Greater Chicago, Muslim Community Center, and co-founder of the Institution of  Islamic Information & Education. She told the story of Khadijah, Muhhammed’s first wife and first convert.

Sr.  Mary Ellen Coombe, NDS, Associate Director, Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Chicago. She is a sister of Sion and Director of the Institute for Catholic-Jewish Education, a special project of the Sisters of Sion and the American Jewish Committee. Sister Mary Ellen spoke about Sister Rosine WHO

Hyma  Levin, Director of Religious Education Emerita, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue has worked in interfaith relations for 18 years in the Chicago area. She told the group about Hana Senesh, an Israeli poet, originally from Hungary who was parachuted into a partisan camp in Yugoslavia.

Shared food for the Faithful: Passover/Sukkot, Eucharist, Ifter

Our retreat was held at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanson, IL
Lenore Reif - a  long-time member of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue and former head librarian of  Loyola Academy where she offered Passover Seder experiences to students.

Marjorie Carey - a lifelong Catholic, who regularly attends Madonna Del Strada, is a spiritual director and has taught English and Russian language studies at Notre Dame and Loyola Universities.

Kismet Saglam - became a Muslim as a young adult, was raised Catholic and also has Jewish roots; works as Vice President of Education and teaches college writing.