Interfaith event gathers congregants of different backgrounds



Oct 12, 2017


Rabbi Mark Winer says getting people of differing faiths to coexist and cooperate boils down to one simple concept – mutual respect.

“Once mutual respect is there, there’s nothing you cannot do,” he said.

Winer, who helped negotiate a treaty between Israel and the Vatican, successfully lobbied for the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel and aided in the re-establishment of Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union after the collapse of communism, will visit Dothan Oct. 20 for an interfaith event.

Winer said some of the same principles used in his previous endeavors have applications for communities like Dothan. Winer said that every community has conflicts among different religious, ethnic or interest groups – it’s how those conflicts are resolved that is important.

“It says in the Talmud that one who makes peace in his neighborhood is viewed as one who is making peace in the world,” he said. “Everyone should think of themselves as living in their own world and making peace.”

The event is sponsored by Temple Emanu-El, Evergreen Presbyterian Church, and the Muslim Community of the Wiregrass. The event will include a 7 p.m. Shabbat service on Oct. 20 at Temple Emanu-El, a Saturday morning message at the Muslim Community of the Wiregrass on Oct. 21, a Saturday evening fundraiser event, and a Sunday service at Evergreen on Oct. 22.

“We all know each other’s business in a small town,” she said. “It’s good to be able to relate to one another.”

Butler said Winer’s experience in working with small faith communities will also be of interest to members of minority faiths in the area.