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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace



Lakeside Congregation To Host Peace Activists

Highland Park News

October 26, 2006
By Kenneth L.R. Patchen

Lakeside Congregation will host two Middle East peace activists to discuss how they were raised and how they came to see beyond the stereotypes they learned of the other's culture.

This will be a first-time meeting for Steve Masters and Saffiya Shillo, a Jewish American and a Palestinian American respectively, and starts at 7 p.m. Nov. 5. This is the third annual Yizhak Rabin Memorial Evening.

The program is free and the public is invited. Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism is at 1221 Lake-Cook Road.

Cantor Michael Davis said there will be a 7 p.m. service of readings, prayers and songs with the Lakeside Adult Choir to commemorate Rabin, followed at 7:45 p.m. with the "Perspectives on Peace" program.

Rabbi Isaac Serotta said, "I would hope (attendees) will have a sense of hope — hope renewed and hope restored. It is possible for people to talk with each other."

Masters is a consultant and attorney with the Israeli Civil Rights Association and is also with Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace.

Shillo lived on the West Bank with her family and is a social worker in the Bridgeview neighborhood of Chicago. She previously was Director of Ethnic Affairs for the Illinois Lieutenant Governor's Office. She is on the National Board of Directors of the Task Force on Palestine and is Board President of Arab-American Family Services.

"They will speak about their experience of growing up in their own ethnic communities," said Davis.

Both will talk about how they became peace activists, overcame the stereotypes about others with which they were raised and how they developed a sense of empathy for others. Although each has discussed these issues publicly in the past, this is the first time they will be together for a discussion.

Davis said the evening demonstrates that communication is possible among people.

"I would hope the message (of this dialogue) could get back to a troubled region," said Davis.

Serotta said the Yizhak Rabin lectures have attracted a nice turnout in the past. A mixture of people comes to hear the programs and a wider range of people than is usually seen at events comes to hear these programs.

"I hope it's of interest to the whole community," Serotta said.

Yizhak Rabin, 73, an Israeli soldier, politician and two-time Prime Minister, is the 1994 Nobel Prize Winner for Peace. He was assassinated Nov. 4, 1995.

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