Jewish, Muslim leaders forge partnership in Clifton

Posted at 7:13 AM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 07:13:54-05

CINCINNATI -- There's a unique friendship growing in Clifton that may be surprising to some.

Leaders at the Hebrew Union College and the Clifton Mosque have forged a friendship and an agreement should an emergency ever crop up at either place of worship.

The idea is that Muslims could use the college's Scheuer Chapel should anything ever happen to the Clifton Mosque and vice versa. Hebrew Union College is also making classrooms available for meetings and classes for members of the mosque.

When somebody vandalized the sign at Hebrew Union College back in January, the mosque's response held special meaning.

"The very first member of clergy from any of our neighboring institutions to come here and to offer us his support was Imam Ismaeel Chartier," said Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, dean of Hebrew Union College. "We have become personal friends and collaborators and partners."

That's just what friends do, they said.

"I was overtaken by that, overcome by that. Worldwide people think Muslims and Jews hate each other which is so not the truth," Chartier added.

Both faith leaders say they aren't aware of this kind of agreement anywhere else between Muslims an Jews and they hope others will find similar relationships.