For the first time at Langara, two religious student groups came together to have an interfaith meeting.
The LMSA and the JSA
The Langara Muslim Student Association and the Jewish Student Association met last month in a first for Langara, which brought the groups closer together.
Ameer Mohammad of the LMSA had approached the JSA at the beginning of the semester, which led to the first meeting being planned.
“I hope and I pray that this partnership continues to grow, and grows better on this campus, and Muslim members of this college, Jewish members of this college, as well as members of other faiths get to see and understand that we really mean well,” said Mohammad.
Rotem Tal of Hillel BC, which runs Jewish student programs across B.C. campuses, couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
“It was a very calm meeting, very relaxed. Both sides were open to hear each other speak,” said Tal.
Independent members of each group have been informally meeting weekly for lunch since November, and these meetings are open to all students.
Expansion of meetings
Both student associations are hoping for an expansion of people at the meetings, and development between the groups.
Although this has just recently started at Langara, the JSA says interfaith meetings aren’t common enough in Vancouver.
“Over here, culturally, we assume that everyone doesn’t notice race or religion because we’re diverse here, so I think people have to really go out of their way to be like ‘no there is a problem and I want to fix it,’” said Langara student Hillary Kaplan of the JSA.
The interfaith meeting made both groups comfortable for open-ended discussion.
“It was about coming together and discussing our commonalities and differences,” said Tal.
Mohammad agreed, voicing his expectations for the next meeting.
“I think the biggest thing we got out of that event was the commonalities. We’re actually looking forward to planning another one, this time much broader.”
The next meeting date has not been announced yet, but all religious groups are welcome.