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Center for Dominican Studies
Students learn lessons of understanding at first-time conference

CDS Interfaith

MIAMI SHORES, FL - June 18, 2007-- They may have come from varied religious backgrounds, but over 30 local elementary school students learned common lessons of peace and understanding Tuesday, June 5 at the first-ever Interfaith Children’s Peace Conference.

The Center for Dominican Studies hosted the conference, held in the Landon Events Room, bringing together children from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.

"Many in our world view religion as something that divides rather than unites people,” said Rev. Dave Caron, OP. “This conference will assist in creating a culture of understanding and peace among the young participants of the three faiths of Abraham in South Florida by teaching peace-skills and communication skills”

The day’s events allowed the students to interact in interfaith teams, and taught about various faith traditions, conflict resolution and peace and communications skills. The fourth and fifth graders were involved in a schedule of activities, including interactive presentations and artistic activities. At the center of the event were spirituality presentations done by representatives from each religious background, including Barry’s Rev. Dave Caron, OP, Barry graduate Foad Farahi representing the Muslim faith and Megan Rita Lagala speaking on Jewish spirituality.

“My hope was to stress what is held in common,” Caron said. “In today's violent world we cannot afford to live in isolation. With all the advancements that we live with, the whole world is the back yard for these children…It makes sense that we begin with the children."

The conference ended with a sacred dinner, shared by the participants and their parents. During the dinner, organizers shared with the parents some of the valuable interfaith traditions and peace skills their children had learned throughout the day.

This is the first year the Center for Dominican Studies has hosted such a conference, although they have plans to make it an annual event. The Interfaith Children’s Peace Conference was made possible by a $12,000 donation to the project.

By: Julianna M. Pietak  


Over 30 fourth and fifth graders attended Interfaith Children's Peace Conference


Elementary school children pose as they work on an art project during the first-ever Interfaith Childrens Peace Conference. The event, hosted by the Center for Dominican Studies, brought together children from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths

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