I planned to write a cheery newsletter about upcoming events, articles & such related to Faith Ed. Then Brussels happened. My heart once again aches for the families of the victims of these attacks on the airport and a train station. As in the past, I also worry about those who will be unfairly targeted as a result. ISIS is claiming responsibility, and the rush to come down hard on all Muslims has already begun in America from some of the Republican presidential candidates. Other politicians are rightly aiming their ire at the terrorists rather than an entire religion.
After Paris and Lebanon, I wrote an essay about how these attacks highlight the need for education on religion because of the inclination of so many to stereotype all Muslims as terrorists. Those words I wrote then ring just as true today.
Closer to home, both the towns of Newton and Arlington in suburban Boston are dealing with recent anti-Semitic incidents. Newton made national news after an incident at a basketball game where Catholic school students chanted an anti-Semitic taunt. I wrote an op-ed for TIME about the incident and how it shows the need to start educating children earlier about different religions and the importance of respecting difference.
In other news, the paperback for Faith Ed. is due to come out in late August or early September, and plans are in the works to create online teacher’s and readers’ guides. Have you read Faith Ed.? If you have ideas for discussion questions, feel free to email me a suggestion to pass along. If you’re a teacher and have a resource you’d like to share, let me know. My hope is to include a lengthy list of resources for teachers that could also help parents interested in educating their children about world religions.
Upcoming Events and workshops:
April 19: Featured speaker as part of panel discussion on teaching about religion, Jewish Community Center of Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas, Texas. Other panelists include SMU religion scholar Mark Chancey and Rabbi Steve Gutow.
For other event listings, go to my website.
Speaking of events, many thanks to Carla Naumburg, an author of parenting books, for the invite and for Tova Mirvis, a novelist, and her family for hosting me last Sunday as the guest speaker for Matters of Taste, a fund-raiser for the Jewish Community Day School in Watertown. I spoke about Faith Ed. and its themes to several couples at the dinner. Here’s a photo of Tova and me from the evening: