The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council is an interfaith, bipartisan collaboration convened by the AJC and the ISNA in early fall 2016. Its 42 members are business, religious, and political leaders from all over the United States. The Council focuses its public policy advocacy on reversing the rise in hate crimes based on religion in the United States. (See www.muslimjewishadvocacy.org for their bios.)
The AJC (American Jewish Committee) is the oldest Jewish advocacy organization, they are also known as the dean of American Jewish organizations. They have a history of advocating social equality for the Jewish community when it comes to general discrimination in the US. As for the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) is an association that supports the Islamic communities, they conduct educational and social outreach programs on Islam in the North American region. Despite the little controversy between the two about Israel their overlapping concern was deemed more important.The council's action includes creating "a coordinated strategy to address anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism" and to "protect and expand the rights of religious minorities" in the United States.
The co-chairs of the council are Stanley Bergman, the CEO of Henry Schein, and Farooq Kathwari, the CEO of Ethan Allen. Our two communities share much in common and should find ways, where possible, to work together for the benefit of the entire country, said Bergman; The Council aims to provide a model for civic engagement by two communities, vital to American society, that agree to work together on issues of common concern and overlapping interest -Kathwari. The creator of the Council and its director is Robert J. Silverman, who lead Muslim-Jewish engagement at AJC. He began discussions with American Muslim friends in the summer of 2016, selected the members of the Council, and chairs its policy sub-committee.
On November 2016 the Islamic Society of North America and the American Jewish committee launched their first meeting. The council has decided to focus its advocacy brings together CEOs and council members of each group to meet and get to know each other as well as discuss the group's mission and goals as a new council.
The council’s three main goals are as follows,
“To highlight the contributions of Muslims and Jews to American society, and aim to celebrate their contributions in the best traditions of American democracy.”
“To develop a coordinated strategy to address anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism in the U.S.”
“To work to protect and expand the rights of religious minorities in the U.S., as enshrined in the Constitution, so they may practice their faiths in full freedom and security.”
The council is working to draft a policy proposal likely to make a concrete difference in people's lives. They then to plan to make these proposals into a policy agenda to present to congress. The council plans to use strategies like being cooperative with the new administration and are willing to work with them.
The Muslim Jewish Advisory Council plans to come together stronger than ever to execute these goals. To defend their rights and make things happen there needs to be respect and cooperation between the two communities equally. At a time of rising political problems it is important to improve relations between the two faiths and that they do not mask each other, with negative aspects. Instead they want to use their collective wisdoms to prevent any crisis from forming 
“Our two communities share much in common and should find ways, where possible, to work together for the benefit of the entire country,” said Stanley Bergman, Co-Chair of the Council.
The co-chairs of the council not only want to find ways to work together but find teamwork to be a very crucial concept when it comes to society today.
“The Council aims to provide a model for civic engagement by two communities, vital to American society, that agree to work together on issues of common concern and overlapping interest,” said Farooq Kathwari, Co-Chair of the Council.
There are thirty-one members of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, two of the being Co-Chairs of the board. Each board member is listed with their name, organization or cooperation they are most affiliated with, faith, and a summary of the accomplishments in their career.
|Name||Organization Represented||Faith/Worldview||Significant Work|
|Ms.Rahmeemah Abdulaleem||KARAMAH||Muslim||Chair of KARAMAH (Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights); Associate General Counsel in the Executive Office of the President; served as Co-Chair of the Civil Rights Division’s 9/11 Backlash Subcommittee|
|Ms.Shakila Ahmad||Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati||Muslim||First female President of Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (ICGC); runs a medical practice, with her husband, that specializes in allergy and asthma care|
|Chaplain Tahera Ahmad||Northwestern University||Muslim||Associate Chaplain and Director of Interfaith Engagement at Northwestern University; Department Head of Islamic Studies at the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park,IL; received graduate certification in Arabic from Al-Diwan, Cairo, certification in the art of Quaranic recitation and traditional Islamic sciences|
|Imam Shamsi Ali||Nusantara Foundation||Muslim||Chairman of the Indonesian Muslim Community; Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York; Director of Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens; appointed “Ambassador for Peace” by the International Religious Federation in 2002|
|Ms.Roberta Baruch||AJC Commission on Interreligious Affairs||Jewish||Deputy Assistant Director for Compliance in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition; President of the Washington, DC, Chapter of the American Jewish Committee; serves on the Board of the Transatlantic Institute|
|Mr. Stanley M. Bergman(Co-Chair)||Henry Schein Inc.||Jewish||Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc.; serves as a Director of Long Island Association, Inc.; serves on a number of board in related areas including the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the University of Witwatersrand, Tel Aviv University, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Business Council for International Understanding|
|Rabbi Angela Buchdahl||Central Synagogue||Jewish||Serves on boards of Auburn Theological Seminary, Avodah Jewish Service Corps, and UJA-Federation of NY; listed as one od Newsweek’s “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis”; first woman to lead the Central Synagogue in New York City|
|Ms.Rabia Chaudry||United States Institute of Peace||Muslim||Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at U.S. Institute of Peace; co-host and co-producer of the podcast “Undisclosed”; Founder of the Safe Nation Collaborative; was the International Security Fellow from the New America Foundation|
|Senator Norman Coleman||Hogan Lovells||Jewish||Former U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Head of the Republican Jewish Coalition|
|Mr. Steven Collis||AmerisourceBergen||Chief Executive Officer and President of AmerisourceBergen Corp.; was Principal and General Manager of Sterling Medical|
|Rabbi Joshua Davidson||Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York||Jewish||Senior Rabbi at the Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York; serves on the Board of Directors of the Kavod Tzedakah Collective, A Partnership of Faith in New York City; member of the Hebrew Union College Board of Governors|
|Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat||Covington & Burling LLP||Jewish||Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues; was Chief White House Domestic Policy Adviser to President Jimmy Carter; was U.S. Ambassador to the European Union|
|Imam Plemon El-Amin||World Pilgrims||Muslim||Imam Emeritus of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam; former Director of the Clara Mohammed Elementary School and W. Deen Mohammed School of Atlanta; serves on the Boards of the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta|
|Mr. David Harris||American Jewish Committee||Jewish||Has led the AJC since 1990; centrally involved in the emigration of over one million Jews from the Soviet Union for the Soviet Jewry Movement|
|Mr. S.A. Ibrahim||Radian Group||Muslim||Chief Executive Officer of Radian Group Inc.; previously was CEO of GreenPoint Mortgage Funding; headed international reengineering for American Express; Board of Trustees of the Inter Faith Youth Corp|
|Congressman Steven Israel||United States House of Representatives||Jewish||Elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Seventh and to the seven succeeding Congresses; Member of the Huntington, N.Y., town board; Staff of United States Representative Richard Ottinger of New York|
|Mr. Farooq Kathwari(Co-Chair)||Ethan Allen Interiors||Muslim||Chairman, President, and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc.; member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee (IRC); member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); member of the International Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP)|
|Mr. Suhail Khan||Microsoft Corporation||Muslim||Serves in Microsoft’s Washington office as the Director of External Affairs; former legal counsel and transportation adviser in the Bush administration|
|Ms. Daisy Khan||Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality & Equality (WISE)||Muslim||Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA); created Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) and Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE)|
|Mr. Farhan Latif||El-Hibri Foundation||Muslim||President of the El-Hibri Foundation; served as Chief Operating Officer & Director of Policy Impact at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU); fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute Program at USC|
|Mr. David Levin||McGraw Hill Education||Jewish||CEO of McGraw Hill Education; was Chief Executive of UBM; was Chief Executive of Symbian Software|
|Mr. Moses Libitzky||Libitzky Property Companies||Jewish||President and Founding Principal of Libitzky Property Companies; Co-founded L & L Data Systems; Creative Renovation Artist|
|Senator Joseph Lieberman||Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP||Jewish||Former Attorney General of Connecticut; Chair, Committee on Governmental Affairs; Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs|
|Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt||Emory University||Jewish||Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies; was a Historical Consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; appointed by President Clinton to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council|
|Imam Mohamed Magid||All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)||Muslim||President of the Islamic Society of North America; Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS); ISNA’s East Zone Representative|
|Mr. Talat Othman||Grove Financial, Inc.||Muslim||President of Grove Financial, Inc.; Founding President of the Arab-American Business and Professional Association; Senior Advisor of McKinley Reserve|
|Rabbi Yehuda Sarna||New York University||Jewish||University Chaplain and Rabbi at the Brofman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University; Founder of the Jewish Learning Fellowship at NYU|
|Rabbi Julie Schonfeld||The Rabbinical Assembly||Jewish||Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA); Newsweek named her one of the fifty Most Influential Rabbis in America|
|Imam Talib M. Shareef||The Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad||Muslim||Retired Chief Master Sergeant of the United States; President and Imam of Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad; Co-organized, spoke, and led the historic Islamic congregational prayer at the Washington National Cathedral|
|Dr. Sayyid Syeed||ISNA||Muslim||Secretary-General of the ISNA; served as Secretary-General of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO); served as General Secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS)|
|Rabbi David Wolpe||Sinai Temple (Los Angeles)||Jewish||Named the most Influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine; columnist for Time.com; previously taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York|
As of 2017, the MJAC has expanded their cause all across the globe. There are 22 offices in the United States alone. In addition, there are ten offices in Berlin, Brussels, Jerusalem, New Delhi, Paris, Rome, São Paulo, Tokyo, South East Asia, and Warsaw. There are three regional institutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In addition, the MJAC have over 33 formal partnerships with international Jewish communities thus far. Each MJAC office and institution consists of their own philanthropy that corresponds to their regional and socioeconomic position in their communities.
On February 1, the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council met with Congress at Capitol Hill to raise awareness of their organization and to urge lawmakers to enforce the equal rights and liberties of all citizens under the Constitution. They met with Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives and Senate to establish their cause for equality and tolerance. They presented their declaration in the format of an open letter to Congress, which was discussed throughout the day. The MJAC acknowledged President Trump’s newly issued refugee policies as justification to voice their concerns and present a written document to restate American rights. Also, the MJAC expressed their growing apprehension over the significant rise in hate crimes against the Jewish and Muslim populations in the United States. Over the past two years, hate crimes has risen over 67%, where it has been observed that the majority of these crimes occurred against religious groups, specifically anti-Semitism and Islamophobia-motivated incidents. The Council’s declaration has been effective in allowing them to work with local governments and the states to better access hate crimes and their legislation. The Council continued to discuss issues such as immigration and refugee policies in depth to establish their views and advocacy on the matter.
On February 16, the MJAC issued a statement commenting on President Trump’s press conference on the growing anti-semitism in the United States as of late. A reporter from Ami Magazine asked for his thoughts on the rise of anti-semitism and how he plans to deal with it. In response, Trump was observed to have avoided the question on multiple accounts throughout the conference. The MJAC issued this statement to showcase the concerns of the Jewish community and to present the issue of hate-crimes against the community.
On February 20, the MJAC expresses their grief and concern for the anti-semitic acts in the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri. Over 100 headstones were purposefully overturned throughout the cemetery. The police have determined that this act was voluntary and purposeful, but it is inconclusive as to whether it was directly a hate crime. The MJAC offers their condolences and shares the pain of those families affected by this event in this statement. They promise to bring justice to this situation and to address the incoming bomb threats that have been occurring since January 9, 2017.
On February 22, the MJAC issued a statement addressing the bomb threats directed towards Jewish Community Centers throughout the United States. It has been recorded that about 11 Jewish Community Centers in the U.S has been subjected to bomb threats as of February 22. This brings the total to about 69 hate crimes against 54 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states since January 2017. In the statement, the MJAC pleads for a proper investigation from the Federal Bureau to address these occurrences against civilians. They support their case by offering the evidence of other anti-semitic occurrences in the past few months, like the vandalism of Islamic centers and the burning of a mosque in Texas. The MJAC promise to work with federal and local officials to ensure the safety of their communities, as well as other civilians.
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