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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.

2016-2017 Topics

September 7

The Urgency of Interfaith Dialogue

Why is it important for us to talk with one another? With Dave Johnston (LDS) and Sally Loble (Baha’i)

October 5

Gender, Sexuality, and Faith

Our culture is talking a lot about gender and sexuality: what do our religious faiths contribute? With Rev. Duffy Peet (Unitarian-Universalist)

November 2

The Power of Words

Are words “just” words, or do they have power? What wisdom do our varied traditions offer? With Floyd Fantelli (Buddhist) and Rev. Joel Seifert (Lutheran, WELS)

December 7

“Caravan,” by Carol Lynn Pearson

Enjoy “A Happy Journey Through the Wisdom Tales of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Premiered at 2015 Parliament of Religions.

January 4

Climate Change: A Religious Issue?

What is the role of religion in discussions and finding solutions to climate change? With Rev. Duffy Peet, (Unitarian-Universalist)

February 1


The central figure of the Christian faith: who is he to others? With Dave Johnston (LDS), Tom Wells (Buddhist), and Rev. Joel Seifert (WELS)

March 8 (THIS IS A 2nd WEDNESDAY!)


What happens when we marry outside our faith? With FLorence Guest (Sufi)

 April 5


Does this Jewish festival play a role in other faiths?

May 3

Why Are We Hopeful?

What are the reasons for hope our religious traditions offer? With Sally Loble (Baha’i) and Karen DeCotis (Buddhist)

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. 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.