After September 11, 2001, Islamophobia reached South Jersey in the form of neighborhood opposition to the proposed construction of a mosque in Voorhees Township. Flyers with hate-filled rhetoric were distributed to nearby homes.
At that time, leaders from the Jewish and Catholic communities, along with other neighbors, spoke out in support of the mosque, and ultimately it was built.
During this time, Fr. Joseph Wallace, Director of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs, Camden Diocese, and Alan Respler, then Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey, reached out to Zia Rahman of the Muslim-American Community Association. Together, they created a forum for dialogue among the Jewish, Catholic and Muslim communities.
In 2003, this forum became known as the Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue of Southern New Jersey. In 2017, membership was expanded to include other Christian denominations, and the name was changed to the Jewish Christian Muslim Dialogue of Southern New Jersey.
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