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Panel :: Creating A Culture Of Thanksgiving

Raleigh : 11-20-2016

The Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies - NC (IITS-NC) cordially invites you to the Panel Discussion around Abrahamic Table event on November 20th, at 3pm.

Three monotheistic faiths in the world (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) accept Abraham as the father of all nations. To honor Abraham with regard to the spirit of dialogue, the Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies plans to hosts regularly a panel discussion program that brings community leaders and clergy from the three Abrahamic faiths to engage in a dialogue about the commonalities of and common issues concerning the Abrahamic communities over delicious food. Each speaker gives a brief interpretation on the given topic from their own background followed by a collective discussion over the topic. This event acknowledges the demand and importance for interfaith dialogue and the positive role it plays in society. Although this event represents Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all religions are welcome to the table.

In this special gathering, our distinguished speakers are Rabbi Daniel Greyber from Beth El Synagague, Rev. Mandy Mizelle Norris from Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Assistant Imam Fahrettin Merakli from IITS-NC. Theme will be creating a culture of thanksgiving.

Venue: The Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies - NC (IITS-NC)
Address: 1391 SE Maynard Rd. Cary, 27511
Date & Time: Sunday, Nov 20th, 2016 at 3pm

Program flow

3:00 Welcome
3:15 - 4:00 Talks
4:00 - 4:20 Collective discussion over the topic and Q&A Session
4:20 Refreshments

- Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.
- Please help us to spread the word.
- Please kindly RSVP at by Nov 20th.

- Please see below for speakers' biographies and abstracts.

Rabbi Daniel Greyber
Daniel Greyber is rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC, author of Faith Unravels: A Rabbi's Struggle With Grief and God ( and recently served as Team USA Rabbi at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel. Formerly a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute, faculty member at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles and the Executive Director of Camp Ramah in California, he served on the editorial board of Conservative Judaism, and his articles have been featured in a wide range of Jewish publications. For more information visit
​He will speak about Blessings in the Jewish tradition as a framework for thinking about Thanksgiving. He will begin with blessings around food, then move to blessings around experiences in nature, and finally a blessing even for bad news.

Rev. Mandy Mizelle Norris
Mandy Mizelle Norris is Associate Pastor at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham. She graduated from the Wake Forest University School of Divinity in 2013 after spending three incredible years working at churches and community organizations in Winston Salem. She has also earned degrees in literature and psychology, together reflecting her deep beliefs in the sacredness of all people and our stories. Originally from the northeastern part of the state, Mandy feels at home in a church and a larger interfaith community that does justice, loves mercy, and makes delicious food. She is grateful for adventures in Durham seeking the kindom of God and widening the table with as many different kinds of people as possible.
For better and worse, Christian traditions are incredibly diverse -- sometimes divergent -- in our understandings and expressions of our faith. Yet all Christians observe the sacrament of Communion, and for many it is a central ritual. Communion is also known as the Eucharist, which comes from the Greek word εὐχαριστία, meaning “thanksgiving.” At their best, Christians remember and reflect a spirit of thanksgiving and union -- with one another and God -- during Communion, and embody that spirit at the many other tables across our lives where we meet and share with others.

Imam fahrettin Merakli
He is currently working as assistant Imam at institute of Islamic and Turkish studies at North Carolina. He was born and raised in Turkey. He took Islamic education in turkey and came to US in 2014 to pursue higher education in Islam.

He will address the place of thanksgiving and gratitude in Islam.

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