American Youths Bridge Religious Divides

October 24, 2007

Author: Jane Lampman

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Sharon, Mass. - At Temple Israel, in this small Massachusetts town, young Tehreem Zaidi begins his talk on Ramadan by reciting from the Koran in Arabic. The teenager then explains to the several hundred guests that the main purpose of this Muslim month of fasting is to "attain God consciousness, and to clean up our lives and our souls." He does not consider the fast a burden, "but an honor, to thank God for all my blessings."

Henal Motiwala follows with a vivid description of the Hindu holiday, Navratri, the "nine divine nights" celebrating the victory of good over evil.

And Jennifer Levy tells the story of Sukkot, the joyous Jewish holiday that expresses "appreciation for nature, food on the table, and friends in our lives."

The three poised high school students are hosting "Sacred Seasons," an evening of interfaith hospitality, including a dinner they and other teens have prepared for families in Sharon.