Synagogue will host noted Islamic cleric

     The St. Thomas Synagogue will present the noted Moslem cleric, Imam Yahya Hendi of Washington, D.C., at several venues from Feb. 4 to 7, 2005.
     Utilizing the synagogue's "World of Difference" fund, it will bring this dynamic Imam, scholar and speaker to St. Thomas, first as the guest speaker at the 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, worship services at the St. Thomas Islamic Center, and then as guest speaker at the synagogue's Shabbat evening service at 6:30 p.m. Imam Hendi will also be the guest speaker at the 9 a.m. Sunday worship services at the St Thomas Reformed Church.
      Imam Hendi will conclude his visit here with an evening presentation at 6:30 Monday, Feb. 7, at Frederick Lutheran Church. His topic for discussion will be "Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Confrontation or Cooperation."
      Imam Yahya Hendi is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, the first American university to hire a full-time Muslim chaplain. He is also the Imam of the Islamic Society of Frederick, Maryland, the Muslim Chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., and a member and the spokesman for the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America.
      He earned a B.A. degree in Islamic Law and Theology from the University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan. He holds two Master's Degrees, including one in Comparative Religion from Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT. Imam Hendi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Religion program at Temple University, Philadelphia, and in Islamic Theology at American Open University, Falls Church, Va.
      He has written numerous publications, including ones on the topic of women in Islam, women and gender relations in Islam, the coming of the Messiah, and religion and Islam in the United States. A sought-after speaker, Imam Hendi has presented a multitude of interfaith and general lectures in the USA and overseas over the past eight years. He was one of the Muslim leaders who met with President Bush in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 tragedy. Imam Hendi has appeared on many national and international television and radio shows as an expert on Islam.
      The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas is honored to bring to our community this gifted speaker.
     "I met Imam Hendi when we were both at Hartford Seminary last June," said Rabbi Arthur Starr of the Hebrew Congregation. "I was impressed with his eloquence, his message of unity and understanding and I knew that our community in St. Thomas could benefit from his presence here. I am delighted that the synagogue is able to bring this wonderful human being to speak in our community. I hope that everyone interested in interfaith relations in our community will have an opportunity to hear him speak."