2019 Feb Comments and feedback from Jewish and GISLA Students after mosque on 2/10/19

Feedback from Jewish Parent –

Gisla Teachers. Thank you again for hosting our group from Temple BT this past Sunday. I received a few reflections from the students who attended, they are below. I believe others will be sent to me later today.

As for myself I felt all the students were engaged, asked good questions and I believe learned from each other. If you would like to set up a visit to our temple, I am sure it can be arranged. Again thank you for the hospitality and experience. Jewish parent

1) feedback from Jewish student Female, Age 13

-There are 99 ways to say god in Arabic 

-there are different positions to pray in

-there are columns on the floor so each person has their own space”

2) feedback from Jewish Male, age 13

“I enjoyed the trip to the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia.  I was impressed with the size, cleanliness, and the chandeliers in the prayer room – they were beautiful.  I was not expecting there to be no chairs in the prayer room, very different from the Sanctuary at TBT.  I noticed that there was nothing similar to our Bima – it was a wide open space with a separate area for the higher ranking members.  The people we met with (students and adults) were friendly, nice, and explained their religion to us in an easy to understand way.  It was a different experience having to take off our shoes to enter a prayer area, and the people use prayer mats during their services.  I noticed that the male members did not wear any head covering in the prayer room, but the female students did.  That is another difference I noticed from what we do.  Thank you for inviting us and providing pizza to us during our visit.”

feedback from Muslim male age 17

This past Sunday I came into class prepared to test out and have a discussion with the members of our class about the topic Laherji had chosen.

I was presently surprised that we had visitors that were Jewish. We started off by introducing each other and there were two adults and 5 children who were in the group. One of them said they played football at Westfield which peaked my interest. One of the kids said that she liked anime and manga which I have never actually watched but it seems interested and I might check it out.

We started off discussion about the problem of blackface. I was aware that blackface was racist and was used in a racist time in the US. Not that there isn’t still racism in the US. I gained more of an understanding of what made it significant. I learned that white people wore the black face and used it to represent the worst stereotypes of black people and make them seen in that bad stereotype for the people that acknowledge the people who wore black face.

We then moved onto the topic of the differences between Islam and Judaism. The Jewish people talked about how the torah was the book for their religion and it was used as the basis whenever they would have communion on Saturday. I also got one of my questions answered about what a barmitsfa really was. It is a “celebration” of a Jewish person becoming a Jewish adult which is around 13 years old.

They also have to memorize I think a good portion of the Torah. They also have to lead a communion in front of all the people of their temple and also say a speech.

I also learned that they don’t really have a concept of heaven or hell or the devil. Their religion is based on living a good life and doing right instead of wrong.

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