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A Jewish Voice For Philadelphia's Muslims
by Steve Lipman
Four months after Jacob Bender, a Jewish filmmaker from Manhattan, was appointed to a symbolically landmark position with an American Muslim organization, he says he is serving as an example of interfaith tolerance.
But a Jewish spokesman in Philadelphia, where Bender is executive director of that city's branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, says the historic appointment has not noticeably changed the Jewish community's ties with CAIR.
Jacob Bender, 63, is the first non-Muslim — and the first Jew — to lead a chapter of the prominent Islamic advocacy group. A Los Angeles native who lives on the Upper West Side, he commutes weekly to Philadelphia, where he serves as the public voice of the city's Muslims, focusing on countering anti-Muslim discrimination.
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