MAS-ICNA Convention - Very Interesting!
It was interesting to be part of a tiny minority as a white Jewish man among 25,000 mostly Muslim people, a significant majority of whom were People of Color. Muslim people are very different from "mainstream Americans" in that the skin color of individual people seems to be of no relevance to how they relate to others within their community.
This was my second recent experience being among mostly Muslim people. Again people were uniformly very nice and accepting. I would guess that 60-65% of the people were female. Roughly 80% of the women had their heads covered. Where there were five women together, often one would not have her head covered.
The most fascinating workshop I went to was entitled "Inclusive or Exclusive". Abrar Esam Omeish is an incredibly intelligent, perceptive young lady!
At one point when I was looking at the booths and displays I saw the booth for the Palestinian Students Scholarship Fund (PSSF). I cried a lot, feeling shame for what is done in my name as a Jew in crushing or attempting to kill or destroy the Palestinian People in greater Israel-Palestine. I am proud to be Jewish! I'm ashamed of how my fellow Jews, together with many non-Jews, support and help make possible the continual attack upon the Palestinian People. I talked at length with a coordinator of the Fund and he was most welcoming and accepting. He was clear that he was not in any way resenting Jews (as such). He was clear about how there had been meaningful relationships between Jews and Palestinians in the past. It was most moving to connect briefly!