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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 , 11:30—12:30, September—May

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

Funding for the interfaith forum comes in part from the generous contribution of Men of Reform Judaism.

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.

Some welcoming details

  • Bring your lunch
    These forums take place from 11:30 am—12:30 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.

2014-2015 Topics

September 3

I Am Malala: religious implications

Malala Yousafzai stood up for girls’ education and was shot by the Taliban. What does her experience say to our various religions?  Part of this year’sOne Book-One Bozeman” series.

October 1

Religion and economics

What do our traditions teach regarding the exchange of goods, services, and money? With the Rev. Philip Zemke, Unity Church

November 5

The end of life: religious perspectives

Extended lifespans, advances in technology— What do our religions teach? With the Rev. Nina Grey, Unitarian Universalist, and Tom Wells, Buddhist

December 3

Religion and humor

Is there anything funny about our faiths? With Flo Guest, Sufi, and Karen DeCotis, Buddhist

February 11

Religion and clothing

What is the religious significance or symbolism of what we wear? With Bob Dabell, LDS Church

March 4

What is prayer?

Do our religious traditions understand prayer in different ways? What do we have in common? With the Rev. Joel Seifert, Lutheran (WELS)

 April 8

The essence of faith

What is at the core of each of our religions? What are we essentially seeking? With Susan Morton, Buddhist

 May 6

The future of religion

Will future generations still practice religion? With Bob Dabell, LDS Church

Panel Participants 2014—2015

  • 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.