Austin Trinity

An independent K-8 Episcopal day school five miles from the heart of Austin

Trinity hosts expert panel on interfaith cooperation
Posted 05/10/2017 03:01PM

What do Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have in common? In a word, love.

Trinity hosted a panel of local religious leaders to discuss how different faiths can work together. The panel comprised The Rev. Dr. Danielle Tumminio, Shaykh Mohamed-Umer Esmail and Rabbi Neil Blumofe. They talked about the importance of faith and respect and how people with different religious beliefs can work together for the greater good.

The event was an open discussion and the entire Trinity community was invited. The purpose of the Religious Leaders Panel is to explore new perspectives, celebrate differences, and connect through commonalities, we can help our children become thoughtful community leaders who successfully navigate the world beyond Trinity. For the past two years, it has featured a Christian priest, a Muslim imam and a Jewish rabbi.

Big thanks to our panel and everyone who attended!

About the Panel

The Rev. Dr. Danielle Tumminio is an Episcopal priest, public intellectual, and our newest Trinity Board Trustee. She has authored three books and numerous articles and has appeared on international news outlets including CNN. Tumminio holds three degrees from Yale University and a doctorate from Boston University. While at Yale, she gained attention as a thought leader for teaching a course on the relationship between Christian theology and Harry Potter.

Shaykh Mohamed-Umer Esmail is the imam of Nueces Mosque, which serves downtown Austin as well as students from The University of Texas and Austin Community College. He is a trained scholar of Islam and an expert in Sharia, and has 15 years experience in marital counseling and youth counseling. Esmail is originally from Oshawa, Ontario, and lives with his wife and three children in Austin.

Rabbi Neil Blumofe leads Agudas Achim, a synagogue in North Austin. He is a classically-trained pianist and jazz composer and teaches both Jewish Studies and Jazz Studies at St. Edward's University. Blumofe is a radio personality for the NPR affiliate KUT, where he hosts a weekly show highlighting great jazz artists. He graduated from Tulane University and holds Rabbinic Ordinations from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. Blumofe is on the board of the Interfaith Action of Central Texas.

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