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Congregation Beth Shalom

Jewish Community in Bozeman, Montana

Talking with Neighbors

An Interfaith Forum for People of Gallatin Valley

First Wednesdays , Noon—1:00 pm, September—May

Living in a multi- religious world, learning from one another

Accommodating the rich religious diversity of Bozeman in a one-hour format is challenging. We are pleased that each month local religious leaders, as named in the topic descriptions, will be joining us. What do we have in common? How do we differ? How can we live in community with one another? In a world growing smaller, in a nation becoming more and more multi-religious, in a community becoming more diverse, it is important to understand our neighbors, their values and their traditions. The purposes of the Interfaith Forum are:

  1. To demonstrate visible respect for one another
  2. To emphasize our commonalities
  3. To celebrate and learn from our differences

 Watch Rabbi Ed, Father Proxell, Rev. McDevitt and Dr. Amin’s April 2014 presentation for Pecha Kucha: Click here.


The Interfaith Panel also does a monthly radio show. Tune in to AM 1450 (KMMS) from 8-9 am the second Thursday of each month to listen.


Some welcoming details

  • Bring your lunch
    These forums take place from Noon-1:00 pm so that working folks and others can “brown-bag” it. The forums will each last 1 hour.
    Please respect the Temple and do not bring pork or shellfish products.
  • Invite your friends
    Anyone is welcome to attend, listen and ask questions, from any faith tradition or no faith tradition.
  • Where is Temple Beth Shalom?
    2010 W. Koch St Bozeman, MT 59718 (behind Albertsons)
    From downtown Bozeman, take Main Street west to the 19th Avenue intersection. Turn left (south) onto 19th Avenue. Go two blocks south to West Koch Street. Turn right (west) on West Koch St and go one and one half blocks. The temple parking lot is on the left.
  • Where to park
    If the parking lot is full, please park on the street.
  • Questions?
    Call Temple Beth Shalom, 406-556-0528.

2015-2016 Topics

September 2

Religious Freedom and Tolerance

How do we balance these two important values? With Joel, Lutheran

October 7

Humility in Religious Tradition

What wisdom does our tradition bring to the practice of humility? With Karen deCotis, Buddhist

November 4

The Parliament of the World’s Religions

First-hand reports from this mid-October event. All local Parliament attendees, please come! With Sally, Bahai

December 2

Spiritual Responses to Life’s Obstacles

Watch (with us) Kitra Cahana’s TED talk about her rabbi father’s severe stroke and its aftermath, then hear panelists’ response and join the discussion. With Dave Johnson, Mormon

January 6

Politics and the Pulpit

As this election year begins, consider the relationship between faith and politics, “church” and state. With Joel, Lutheran & Nina Grey, UU

February 3

Music, Chant, and Recitation

Learn about the role of music in religious traditions. Audio included! With Flo, Sufi

March 2


How do our religious traditions regard anger? With Tom Wells, Buddhist

 April 6

Access to G!d

Do we need a religion to access G!d? With Nina Grey, UU

 May 4

What Makes the “Holy Land” Holy?

The Abrahamic traditions share a sacred geography. How do our religious traditions look upon this land today? With Sally, Bahai

Panel Participants 2015—2016

  • Rabbi Ed Stafman has been rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom since 2008. For many years a trial lawyer in Florida, he also holds a masters degree in religion and has completed the coursework for a PhD in Religion of Western Antiquity.
  • Dr. Ruhul Amin is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MSU. He is president of the Islamic Center of Bozeman and faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association. He is a native of Bangladesh.
  • The Rev. Jody McDevitt has been co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church (PC (USA)) since 1997. Her theology degrees are from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. She was ordained in 1988.
  • The Rev. Leo Proxell has been pastor of Holy Rosary Catholic Church for 13 years. He was ordained in 1973 and has served parishes in western Montana. His 9 years of campus ministry at Carroll College included 3 years of teaching theology.
  • Invited guest panelists — Accommodating the rich religious diversity of Bozeman in a one-hour format is challenging. We are pleased that each month additional local religious leaders will be joining us.