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Chaminade’s Fujitani Program presents an opportunity to learn more about Islam and Judaism in Hawaii


The Reverend Fujitani – Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Interfaith Program at Chaminade University on February 12, from 3 to 6:30 p.m., will offer a unique half-day event where members of the public can learn more about Islam and Judaism from two of Hawaii’s significant religious leaders, Imam Ismail Elshikh, PhD, (Hawaii Mosque in Manoa) and Rabbi Peter Schaktman(Temple Emanu-El in Nuuanu). All activities are free and include tours of Hawaii Mosque in Manoa, hosted by Imam Elshikh, and Temple Emanu-El, hosted by Rabbi Schaktman. A dialogue discussion, titled What Is A “Good Person”? The Concept of Virtue in Islam and Judaism, featuring the Imam and the Rabbi and moderated by Roger Epstein, will follow at Temple Emanu-El.

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, from 3-6:30 p.m.– Program begins with tours of   Hawaii Mosque in Manoa led by Imam Ismail Elshikh, PhD, and Temple Emanu-El on Pali Highway led by Rabbi Peter Schaktman. Details follow:
3-3:30 p.m. Tour of Hawaii Mosque in Manoa at 1935 Aleo Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.  Parking limited. Please carpool.
3:30-4 p.m. Travel time to Temple Emanu-El at 2550 Pali Hwy, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
4-4:30 p.m.  Tour of Temple Emanu-El
4:30-5:30 p.m.:  Dialogue –What is a “Good Person”? The Concept  of Virtue in Islam and Judaism with Imam Ismail Elshikh, PhD, and Rabbi Peter Schaktman; and moderator Roger Epstein, Hawaii Forgiveness Society
5:30-6 p.m.:   Q & A
6-6:30 p.m.:   Informal conversation during refreshments
6:30 pm:          End of program

For information, email or call 735-4822.

Ismail Elshikh, PhD, the Imam of Muslim community in Hawaii since March 2003, has dedicated his life to Quran recitations and Islamic studies starting at the age of ten when he completed Quran memorization. Imam Ismail holds a Bachelor of Islamic Da’awah (with Honors) from the prestigious Al-Azhar University and a PhD in Islamic studies (with honors) from Graduate Theological Foundation. He has also obtained authentication (sanad) going back all the way to great prophet Muhammad (SWS) and completed the ten qiraat (recitation Style). Imam Ismail is the founding member of board of trustees of Qurra’a Association of America (Qurra’a) and a member of the North America Imam Federation (Naif). He has been a guest speaker and reciter at many events nationally and internationally. He has also received many awards and accommodations nationally and internationally

Rabbi Peter Schaktman came to Honolulu in September 2005 to serve as the Interim Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El. In July 2006, he became the congregation’s permanent Spiritual Leader. He received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1989.  Since that time, the heart of his work has been as a congregational rabbi, where he has found enormous satisfaction learning, teaching, caring for members of the community and creating new approaches to meeting the challenges of synagogue life. As a congregational rabbi, he has served congregations in Houston, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Staten Island, and Livingston Manor, NY. He also spent nine years working on the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism at their headquarters in Manhattan as a regional and national consultant in program development, synagogue management and the special needs of small congregations. A graduate of Oberlin College, he is certified in Chemical Dependency and Spiritual Counseling. Prior to becoming a rabbi, he also spent two years living in an Israeli Arab village as a community worker in Arab-Jewish relations.

Roger Epstein, a tax lawyer who has passion in studying Tibetan Buddhism and other religions, chairs the Hawaii Forgiveness Society.  In addition to his active career with Cades Schutte and leading its Tax Department, Mr. Epstein has been involved in the local community since he moved here in 1972. Some of the community organizations he works with are: Hawaii State Consortium for Integrative Health Case (Chairman), Hawaii Center for Attitudinal Healing (President), Maitreya Institute, an educational institute founded by Tibetan Buddhists for ecumenical, cultural and religious teaching (President and Director: 1984-present), Unity Church of Hawaii (Sunday School Teacher: 1988-1994), Tai Hsuan Foundation, a Chinese Taoist school for Chinese studies and acupuncture (Chairman of the Board: 1980-1995), and Chaminade Hawaii Tax Institute (Advisory Director: 1999). Currently he serves on the Board of Governors for the Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani-BDK Interfaith Program at Chaminade University.

Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander serving institution Chaminade has its main campus at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816. It also has eight satellite locations around Oahu. Chaminade University is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and looks forward to increased opportunities to promote environmental sustainability. For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at or call (808) 735-4711.

Media Contact: Kapono Ryan  (808) 735-4797 or cell 429-2972


1 Comment

  1. Peter Hoffenberg

    Aloha! Can you please share this press release with the Religion and Philosophy Departments at U H Manoa? Thanks, PHH (History Prof)

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