Posted by: Lister | October 22, 2007

Children of Abraham 2

Synagogue Becomes Reality With Muslim’s Help.

After 26 years, members of the Temple Shalom finally will have their own synagogue, thanks in part to a Muslim contractor.

The congregation of Temple Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, will build its synagogue on land they purchased in Fayetteville. On Sunday, about 100 people and religious leaders gathered to bless that land, where they hope to have a temple built by next year.

Since 1981, the members of Temple Shalom practiced their faith where they could.

That’s when Fadil Bayyari, a Muslim from Palestine who works as a general contractor in Springdale, volunteered to help. Bayyari waived his contractor’s fee, which typically would be as much as 15 percent on the million dollar project.

Temple Shalom founding member and building coordinator Jeremy Hess and Bayyari acknowledge their religions’ common roots, including their belief in one God. Bayyari says they are like cousins.

Bayyari built the Islamic mosque in Fayetteville and says his kinship with the Jewish congregation also stems from when his faith did not have a home in northwest Arkansas. The Jews have been meeting at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville. Until the mosque was completed, the Muslim community also had no home to call their own.

When built, Temple Shalom’s synagogue will include a sanctuary, social hall, library, classrooms, offices, a kitchen and a meeting room for the Hillel student organization at the University of Arkansas. Plans also include an outdoor sacred garden.

BTW,
Part one was this post, where Jews were helping Muslims to build a Mosque.

Why can’t the rest of the world be like this?

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