WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 121 of 211

Sharing Sparks Understanding The women typically gather in one another's homes. With potluck dish in hand, they share family specialties, such as couscous and lamb, kugel, borscht, rice with lentils, fried pakoras, baklava, and rugelach. The women also bring a treasured object from their culture: perhaps a family photograph, a handwritten letter, an heirloom, a piece of jew- elry, a ritual object, a book, or an article of clothing. Sheila Rosalyn Deitchman, co-organizer of Neighbor to Neighbor, describes how participants form a circle to share personal stories and meaningful objects reflecting their respective traditions. Sheila, who joined Shir Tikva the very day before 9/11 and proudly serves as the synagogue's go-to Torah chanter, finds that the "show and tell" experi- ence is a perfect way to spark free-flowing conversation and to uncover similarities between Judaism and Islam. "We don't come to these gath- erings to get our personal point of view across. Nobody has an agenda. Everyone listens wholeheartedly without judgment," explains Sheila. At a recent Neighbor to Neighbor gathering at the home of award- winning children's book author and retired elementary school teacher Farhana Zia, several of the women shared poetry. Joyce distributed copies of a poem written by Elie Mangoubi, a psychiatrist and Egyptian Jew living in the United States, so the women could follow along as she read the poem aloud to the group. All were struck by how Mangoubi's words express their own reverence for the unity of humankind. At the KL Neighbor to Neighbor Mission By coming together, we develop community, learn from one another, and build relationships that help to break down misconceptions and stereotypes. We seek creative ways to deepen our friendships as women and to nourish the hearts, minds, and souls of our Jewish and Muslim neighbors. 120 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 6 Neighbor to Neighbor top: Standing in front of the Islamic Center of Boston, Neighbor to Neighbor founder Joyce Pastor in the middle is flanked by (left to right) Nasrene Alavi (a teacher visiting from Pakistan), Rokhsana Ahmed, Sheila Rosalyn Deitchman, and Farhana Zia bottom: A Neighbor to Neighbor gathering at the home of co-organizer, Sheila Rosalyn Deitchman

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