DETROIT, January 26, 2020—Reuniting the Children of Abraham is a powerful, multimedia peace initiative created with Jewish, Christian and Muslim families to combat the fear, bigotry and bullying that fuels violence. The multicultural project described in this book includes inspiring true stories—and educational materials prepared by teams from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University—that flow from the ancient story of Abraham, a patriarch in all three faiths.
Just as Abraham’s own children were reunited, this project is a model for calling these vast families of faith toward building peaceful new relationships. The book’s subtitle is: The Sacred Story that Calls Jews, Christians and Muslims to Peace.
The original Children of Abraham project, which sprang from Detroit’s rich interfaith community, this project also became the focus of a CBS-network documentary, which pointed out: “Abraham, of the Old Testament, was the founding patriarch of a new, monotheistic faith, which included Jews and later Christians and Muslims. One of his two sons is historically tied to the founding of Judaism, the other to the founding of Islam.”
CBS Executive Producer and Director of that special network broadcast, John P. Blessington, said, “This project is a powerful experience that gives hope to the idea of these three religions being able to find their common heritage as a reason for mutual religious respect and spiritual healing in the future.”
Now, the source materials for this project—which range from shared prayers to true stories of young participants—are appearing in book form so that individual readers and small groups will be inspired to carry this kind of interfaith work into their communities. The book draws on wisdom from scholars at both of Michigan’s major universities, as well as timeless wisdom from the Bible and the Quran.
In a report published by The Detroit Free Press, David Crumm wrote about the urgency of this program, which has been presented in several formats in communities across the country. David wrote, “Once we rediscover our shared origin story in the ancient family of Abraham—Jews, Christians and Muslims living today must face the powerful truth that God still is calling us to reunite our family.”
In Minnesota, Muslim community leader and mother Arshia Khan helped to bring the program to Duluth. Arshia said, “God created us for a purpose. We need to learn to live with each other. We believe in the same God. If our children see us doing the right thing, they learn about love and respect for each other.”
The book closes with recommendations for further reading as well as links to additional resources available online.
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Early Praise for the Book
In her resolve to reconnect the Children of Abraham, Brenda Naomi Rosenberg recognizes that tension has eroded our shared traditions deeply rooted in our Abrahamic ancestry. Yet by harnessing the the tension that once separated us, Brenda and I now share an unshakable bond, rooted not only in our commonalities but also in our differences.
Samia Moustapha Bahsoun, co-author of Harnessing the Power of Tension
We all want people to be able to experience religious diversity and not be afraid of the differences that seem so new to them, at first. Our Girl Scout Law is rooted in the commitment to make the world a better place. Our girls come from every religious tradition. Whatever their individual background may be, we want our girls to see that their ideas, hopes and dreams can contribute to peace in our community and the world.
Suzanne Bante, chair of Religious Relationships Committee, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan
Brenda Rosenberg’s targets have been prejudice, misconception, fear and hatred. Rising global anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have fueled her cause, but so has a relentless desire to forge partnerships from seeming stone–and to spur understanding despite the divides.
Robert Sklar, The Detroit Jewish News
About the Authors
BRENDA ROSENBERG—From her background as a national trend-setter in fashion, design and marketing for major department stores, Brenda Naomi Rosenberg carried her creative passion into multicultural and inter-religious peacemaking after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Through a wide array of initiatives, she established strategic partnerships and opened doors to men, women and youth from diverse backgrounds. Among her many efforts, she developed a cross-cultural approach to counseling and to designing educational conferences called the Tectonic Leadership program with Samia Moustapha Bahsoun, which is detailed in their book, Harnessing the Power of Tension. Her goal has always been: “To make a more beautiful world by breaking barriers and re-framing relationships, utilizing creativity to actualize change.”
SUZY FARBMAN, who wrote the Foreword—Suzy Farbman is a veteran journalist and author of the memoir, GodSigns: Health, Hope and Miracles, My Journey to Recovery. She has promoted interfaith peacemaking with Brenda Naomi Rosenberg over many years.