Students establish teen Jewish-Muslim council

Eojin Choi

Blake Nosratian ’13 and David Hoffman ’13 formed the Muslim-Jewish High School Leadership Council to create  events for Muslim and Jewish teenagers to learn more about the other’s religion.
“My experiences this past summer at Seeds of Peace, as well as my desire to promote communication between members of different religions in my own community inspired me to co-found The Muslim-Jewish High School Leadership Council,” Nosratian said.
The council includes eight Jewish students, eight Muslim students and two advisors, including co-founders Nosratian and Hoffman and members Alex Berman ’14 and Theodora Davis ’13.
The council is run by the Islamic center of Southern California and New Ground: a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.
Members were selected through an application process, in which an application submitted by a Jewish student was read by Muslim community leaders and vice versa.
The council holds meetings once or twice a month on Sunday at different places of worship. They study Jewish scriptures and the Qu’ran and listen to speakers from organizations founded by each faith.
“I love being a part of the council because everyone is friendly and non-judgmental,” Berman said. “Despite our various religious practices, we share interests in sports, music and so on.”
Later in the year, they will develop their own joint response to a topic they are interested in for a project involving 600 or more people on Global Youth Service Day in April, a program of Youth Service America where participants from over 100 countries work to address certain issues in their projects.
After completing their fellowship, each member will receive a certificate from the City of Los Angeles in appreciation of their effort to improve interfaith relations.
“It gives me hope that Muslims and Jews in Los Angeles can continue to work together to better our community,” Hoffman said.