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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.

2017-2018 Topics

September 6

Holy Tweet?

What is the impact of today’s communications revolution on our religious practices? With Dave Johnston (LDS) and Suzanne Colon, (Buddhist)

October 4

The Protestant Reformation & Interfaith Relations

After 500 years, how are we all doing?? With Lutheran pastors Joel Seifert (WELS), Sam Grayl (LCMS), and Lindean Barnett Christenson (ELCA)

November 8 (THIS IS A 2nd WED)

Health Care and Religion

What perspectives do our religions offer to our national debates? With Rev. Duffy Peet (Uniarian-Universalist)

December 6

Civil Religion

How do our faith traditions interact with American civil religion? With Rev. Joel Seifert (WELS)

January 3

Responding to Violence

Is it enough to say “We are praying for the victims?” With Rev. Duffy Peet (Unitarian-Universalist), and Karen DeCotis (Zen Buddhist)

February 7

What does religion mean to me?

Young people (20-29) from our faith traditions respond to this questions. With LDS and Buddhist representatives

March 7


Who is Abraham in our religious traditions? With Florence Guest (Sufi)

 April 4

What is the soul?

Do all our faiths share the concept? How do we speak of this? With Tom Wells (Buddhist), and Sally Loble (Bahai’i)

May 2

The pursuit of happiness.

It’s enshrined in our nation’s founding documents, but is this a goal of our faith tradition? With Karen DeCotis (Buddhist), and Dave Johnson (LDS)

Panel Participants 2016—2017

  • 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. Shadmani Amin is a Lab Coordinator for the Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry at MSU. They are both natives 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 16 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.