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Interfaith and Intercultural

It is imperative to our rabbis and our Temple's community that we stand up with our neighboring communities of faith against all forms of discrimination. We support freedom and respect for all people, no matter if we share the same history or culture. Under our traditions of tikkun olam, Temple Beth Am has held lasting friendships with a variety of temples, mosques, and churches. Our interfatith and intercultural committees and programs are leading the way in bridging the gaps.

Our vision to build meaningful relationships with other faiths and cultures also extends to provide help and assistance when needed. For ways to do this, please refer to this resource list from the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS).

Interfaith and Intercultural Initiative (I3)

Our congregation has a long history of engagement in interfaith and intercultural activities. To support the many ways in which our rabbis and members engage with people of other faiths, this group fields requests and undergoes committee-oriented work toward opportunities for interfaith collaboration. 


Through education, advocacy, collaboration, communication, outreach, and engagement, the Interfaith Cultural initiative strives to:

  • Foster the establishment of a committed, strong, active network of congregation members,
  • Cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships with other faiths and cultures, and 
  • Be a resource for the understanding of Jewish values and religious practices by other faiths and cultures.

MAPS Ceremony

Established in 2015, Temple Beth Am's Interfaith and Intercultural Initiative has already organized a variety of presentations by noted guest speakers, took part in the annual Faith Action Network Summits, represented TBA at religious and cultural observances located at other communities of faith, and is planning many more engagement opportunities.

In the process of reaching out to our neighbors, we hold open, vibrant conversations where every participant's ideas and experiences help expand our vision. Are you interested in joining us? For more information on this initiative, please contact Diane Baer.

*Photo at right of TBA's Rabbi Jason Levine and Mahmood Khadeer, the President of  the Muslim Association of Puget Sound.


Upcoming Events:


Islam and Judaism: Extending Hands of Friendship, Understanding, and Support
Sunday, March 19, 2:00 - 5:00 PM
TBA Sanctuary
Post-film conversation facilitated with Dr. Rania Hussein, founder and executive director of the MAPS Many Cultures, One Community program, and Rabbi Elana Zaiman, writer and chaplain for The Summit at First Hill.

The Interfaith and Intercultural Initiative at Temple Beth Am (I3) is committed to fostering opportunities for the members of the congregation to engage in building bridges of understanding, friendship, and support with our Muslim neighbors. The next I3 program will be a wonderful opportunity for members of the congregation to spend an afternoon together at TBA with others invited from Muslim and Jewish congregations in the broader community. 

Inspired by the Redmond Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) 2012 community building program, “Many Cultures, One Community,” we will screen the 2007 award-winning film Arranged. This story of friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a devout Muslim woman – both first year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn and both experiencing similar life pressures as their families try to arrange their marriages – serves as a basis for discussion. What are the similarities and differences we note? What kinds of stereotypes do we see in the film or do we hold? Please join us in answering these questions while getting to know your neighbors.

Contact TBA Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort for more information. Sponsored by I3 and co-sponsored by the Sisters of Beth Am. Light Refreshments will be served in the Social Hall after the film where the conversation will take place. 

Refugee Resettlement Task Force (RRTF)

MiMi Globe Goods at Gates Giving Marketplace 4

Maimonides taught that the greatest level of tzedakah is giving, so that a person can become self-sustaining. The Refugee Resettlement Task Force (RRTF) brings together members of Temple Beth Am who want to support international refugees as they work to rebuild their lives in the Seattle area.

The greater Seattle area is the new home for refugees from the world over. Many more refugees will continue to arrive. These men, women, and children have fled a variety of horrors and hardships - from drought and other natural disasters to war, discrimination, and oppression. They urgently need housing, household goods, jobs, education, and other basic necessities as they begin the next chapter of their lives in our community.

MiMi Globe Goods at Gates Giving Marketplace

The RRTF supports international refugees in the Seattle area and collaborates with other organizations that support them. Our efforts are based on four pillars:

  • educating the community about refugees’ situation and needs
  • advocating
  • building community by bringing together TBA members who are interested in supporting refugees; by welcoming refugees to TBA and the larger Seattle community; and by forming connections between TBA members, the refugee community, and other supporting organizations
  • collecting and distributing resources, working with organizations such as Jewish Family Service (JFS) and/or the International Refugee Committee (IRC) to identify what resources are needed, who needs them, and where and when to provide them. 

We encourage assistance, ideas, and participation from anyone and everyone with a desire to welcome and support refugees and contribute to their well-being and independence. The Jewish people have been refugees many times during our history. We welcome the opportunity to improve the lives of international refugees in our community.

*Photos of MiMi Globe Goods at the Gates Giving Marketplace.

Contact Cecily Kaplan at cksings@msn.com to learn how to participate.