Rabbi Steven Jacobs: Peace Possible for People of Different Faiths

A long-time rabbi and the founder of the Progressive Faith Foundation, Rabbi Steven Jacobs dedicates considerable time and energy to helping pave the way for peace between people of different faiths and ethnic groups. Before establishing the Progressive Faith Foundation, Rabbi Steven Jacobs served as a member of an interfaith coalition led by Reverend Jesse Jackson that negotiated the release of American soldiers captured in Yugoslavia in 1999.

The increasingly global nature of modern society requires people from many different religious groups to intermingle on a regular basis. Until fairly recently, religious populations tended to be separated by regional boundaries. Business concerns, improvements in travel infrastructure, and lower costs of air transportation allow people to move easily from one part of the world to another. People from religious groups that hold historic and deep-seated distrust of members of other faiths have to interact with each not only in business but in their everyday lives.

In the United States alone, residents practice hundreds of different religious faiths. Many of these faiths, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, stem from roots leading to Abraham, while others trace their origins to Asia and India. Although misunderstandings arise between members of various groups, kindness to others prevails as an important conviction in each of these religions. A focus on compassion and tolerance often helps people from disparate religious communities overcome their differences and establish connections that enhance rather than detract from their core beliefs.

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