Interfaith peace feast held on National Day of PrayerThe event is named the First Annual Gary Gordon Interfaith Peace Feast and will be held at Temple Israel. The funds from the tickets to the meal will be used as a fundraiser for Men as Peacemakers.
By: Naomi Yaeger, Duluth Budgeteer News
Duluthian Judy Gordon says her late husband Gary Gordon dreamed of bringing peace to the Middle East. He even led a group of Duluthians to Israel in 1996.
On that trip, she says, Jews opened their homes to Muslims. Judy says she just wants to bring peace to Duluth. She is a member of the working committee of the Oreck Alpern Interreligious Forum, but said she didn’t necessarily want to just study text. She wanted to be a part of a group of people who “do things together.”
She and several other women decided the thing they would do is bring people of different faiths together for a meal on May 2, which is the National Day of Prayer. During that meal people would be able to meet people of other faiths. The event is named the First Annual Gary Gordon Interfaith Peace Feast and will be held at Temple Israel. The women will prepare ethnic food. The funds from the tickets to the meal will be used as a fundraiser for Men as Peacemakers.
“This is really cool,” Judy told the Budgeteer during a taste-testing party at her home on Sunday, April 7. “We aren’t going to wait for something really bad to happen.” She said often communities will get to know one another better after a tragedy.
Judy said she and her husband thought about attending the National Day of Prayer event that was held at Duluth’s Civic Center last May, but as Jews they felt excluded when they saw a giant cross. Judy said she and Gary talked about having an inclusive dinner for the Next National Day of Prayer. Gary unexpectedly died later that month.
The women at the taste-testing party included Evia Koos (tofu martabak), Molly Benson (salmon croquettes), Andrea Gelb (hummus and veggies) and Emebet Davies (beets with pistachio butter).
Kathryn Schumacher, an employee of Men as Peacemakers, also attended the taste-testing party. Caterina Alwan, who is of Italian heritage and married to an Iraqi, is also expected to contribute to the May 2 meal.
“She’s the world’s best cook!” Molly Benson said. “Her parents run a restaurant in California.” Benson said that Alwan knows how to convert recipes to serve large groups of people.
“We’d be lost without her,” Judy said.
Gary had been a recipient of a Men as Peacemakers award. And the proceeds from this dinner will go to help fund the Men as Peacemakers award dinner this year on May 7.
Judy said both she and her husband were trained in compassionate listening and taught classes in it. Compassionate listening is listening without judging or disagreeing with the person.
People will be assigned seats in order to get to know someone from a different background. The evening will feature a 5:30 dinner with ethnic foods, a guided discussion, and a short program including comments from Men as Peacemakers and the Civility Project.
In order to bring together a diverse group as possible for this event, a limited number of tickets will be sold to various faith communities and organizations before they go on sale to the general public. Pre-sale tickets can be reserved by e-mailing Judy Gordon at email@example.com or calling 724-4145.
WHAT: The first annual Gary Gordon Interfaith Peace Feast
WHEN: May 2 at 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Temple Israel, 1602 E. Second Street
WHY: To promote compassionate listening