Trump Effect: Jewish and Muslim Organizations Form New Alliance

A new Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council will work to protect religious minorities' rights as well as other 'issues of common concern.'

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
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A Muslim student speaks during a protest at the University of Connecticut in Storrs against the election of Trump as president, November 9, 2016.
A Muslim student speaks during a protest at the University of Connecticut in Storrs against the election of Trump as president, November 9, 2016.Credit: Pat Eaton-Robb, AP
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

Less than a week after an election that left many minority and religious groups in the United States feeling disenfranchised, two important organizations – one Jewish and the other Muslim – announced an unusual alliance on Monday.

The American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America have teamed up to form a new national group of leading Jewish and Muslim Americans: The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.

In a press release, the AJC said that the new group “brings together recognized business, political and religious leaders in the Jewish and Muslim American communities to jointly advocate on issues of common concern.”

Read more on Trump and American Jews: President Trump has shattered Jews' American idyll (Chemi Shalev) | 'You deserve to be gassed': Hate crimes skyrocket after Trump win (Debra Nussbaum Cohen) | To the Trump voter who just told me to leave the country (Bradley Burston) | Rabbis and congregants take to New York streets to protest (Jennie Kamin) | Trump requests security clearance for son-in-law Jared Kushner in unprecedented move

The co-chairs of the 31-member council are Stanley Bergman, CEO of the Henry Schein healthcare company, and Farooq Kathwari, president and CEO of the Ethan Allen furniture company.

Among its initial “action items,” the press release said, will be to “develop a coordinated strategy to address anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism in the U.S.” and to “protect and expand the rights of religious minorities” in the country.

“Our two communities share so much in common and should find ways, where possible, to work together for the benefit of the entire country,” said Bergman.

The council members include religious and lay leaders from both communities. Among the most prominent names on the membership list is Joseph Lieberman, the former senator who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000.

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