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Jewish and Muslim Women Lose Weight – Gain Peace

March 25, 2013
Plain English Version

Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times

Jewish and Muslim women in Israel and the United States had a great idea. What if they came together to talk about something of interest to both groups – their weight!

An Israeli filmmaker was the first to propose this idea ten years ago. Now, in Israel and the U.S., groups of Jewish and Muslim women are working together to work off their weight.

The plan is called Slim Peace. It is open to all faiths. On a recent night in Brookline, MA, one woman brought steamed broccoli and chickpeas in a curry sauce atop a bed of baby kale.

The women talked about their cravings for the food they find hard to resist. A Jewish woman said, “I substitute an 80-calorie cookie bar.”

A Muslim woman asked, “Do your really eat just one?”

The woman answered, “Yes, I buy the ones that are individually wrapped.”

The diet talks have lead women to attend the prayer meeting of other religions and to share stories about their lives and families.

The different traditions can lead to misunderstandings about culture and … men. The women also talk about whether Jews and Muslims can get along. About such talk, one woman said, “It is insulting. It is not correct. I wish people did not think that way.”

The women play games, share food tips and tell stories. If such meetings are not leading to world peace, they are leading to greater understanding.

A recent meeting ended with each woman using one word to express her feelings. Words like “moved,” “joy” and “grateful” filled the room.

Source: The New York Times

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