Jewish, Muslim Women Live Together to Seek Peace, Understanding

October 9, 2006

Source: International Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP

About a dozen women students, including a handful of Muslims and Jews, are living together at Rutgers University as they work toward ideals that have seemed out of reach for years in the Middle East: peace and understanding.

Rutgers was to hold a dedication ceremony Monday evening for its new Middle East Coexistence House, a section of a residence hall where students of different backgrounds have been living since early last month.

The 11 women — five Jews, three Muslims, one Hindu, one Christian and an agnostic — are pursuing studies such as political science, Middle Eastern studies and English literature. Besides living together, they gather once a week in the residence hall for a conflict resolution class that covers the history, culture and current events of the Middle East.

The house was the idea of Danielle Josephs, a senior political science and Middle Eastern studies major, who now lives in the dorm. Josephs is a former president of a campus Jewish organization, Rutgers Hillel, who has an Israeli father and a Jewish-American mother. She proposed a conflict-resolution living area to a school dean two years ago.