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Here's what happens when a group of Jews and Muslims gathered for the most basic gesture of faith.

What they're doing is common. How they're doing it is exceptional.

A group of people gathered before sunrise on a beach in Los Angeles. They laid blankets and rugs on the sand, and with the tumble of the ocean at their backs, they joined together to begin a familiar ritual: prayer.

But this wasn't just any prayer group. The small and faithful bunch included both Muslims and Jews. And this was the first of five stops on a citywide "prayer crawl." In the video of this epic gathering, they describe why they came together and what they hoped to accomplish. Take a look:

What was so significant about Muslims and Jews praying together?

For starters, group prayer usually only involves people of the same faith. Then there's the who. This gathering confronts the specific, pervasive narrative of Muslims and Jews not getting along, revealing the possibilities beyond just "getting along" in the process. When these prayer participants were in it for the first time, they found deeper meaning in the experience than they could have imagined.


All images via NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.

They felt they were a part of something bigger than their own faiths.

They were challenged in unexpected and transformative ways.

"Allahu Akbar" means "god is great," which — surprise — a lot of people believe. Even non-Muslims.

There were "aha" moments.

Some even found what's been missing from their own prayer.

But this wasn't just about bettering themselves. It was about building community to better the world. It was about spreading a message of peace.

And clearly their message resonated with more than that small cohort on the beach.

Just as they hoped, the group grew as the day went on.

And under the glow of the moon, they concluded their prayer expedition with, well, a prayer:

"Grant us courage to walk this righteous path, praying side-by-side and yearning together for peace."

Interfaith alliances aren't anything new, but to see followers of different faiths practicing together is kind of revolutionary.

What if every person of faith were to do the same? How might the world be different? Would it be kinder and capable of more than basic tolerance? Because that's a future worth praying (and fighting) for.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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