Group Guidelines

Principles of Interreligious Dialogue

1. Enter into dialogue so that you can learn and grow, not to change the other.

2. Everyone must be honest and sincere, even if that means revealing discomforts with your own tradition or that of the other. Everyone must assume that everyone else is being equally honest and sincere.

3. Everyone must be permitted to define her own religious experience and identity, and this must be respected by others.

4. Don't feel that you are the spokesperson for your entire faith tradition or that you ought somehow to know everything there is to know about it. Admit any confusion or uncertainty you might have if a puzzling question arises.

5. Don't assume in advance where points of agreement or disagreement will exist.

6. Everyone should be willing to be self-critical.

7. All should strive to experience the other's faith "from within" and be prepared to view themselves differently as a result of an "outside" perspective.

8. Trust is a must.

(Adapted from Leonard Swidler, "Me Dialogue Decalogue," Journal of Ecumenical Studies 20/1: 1-4.)

Ground Rules:

We are not an academic study group nor are we official representatives of our religious tradition or theological opinions. Our goal is to offer one another a window into our living experience of faith.

We speak from our own experiences, rather than making broad sweeping statements or statements about someone else who believes a certain way.

We do not criticize another member or a faith tradition, including a denomination or group within our own faith tradition.

If anyone strongly objects to reading a particular book, we do not read it in the group.

The focus is on the books. This levels the playing field and creates a safe space which allows each woman to decide how much to share on a personal level.

We listen to each other.

We do not interrupt.

We do not monopolize the conversation; we make sure that everyone who wishes to speak gets a chance to contribute.

We speak respectfully to each other.

If someone hits a sore point, we speak up during the meeting, or if we are not able to do so, we talk directly to the person who offended us after the meeting. If we cannot work things out, we speak to our co-leader and ask for help.

Since we are a book group with diverse membership, the Daughters of Abraham does not endorse any political or social causes. Of course, any member of the group is free to support any cause in her own name.

We are mindful about scheduling book group meetings on any of our respective holidays.


No Pork or Shellfish. Food should be Kosher. Kosher food meets Halal standards but it needs to be without alcohol. For example, if you are baking keep in mind that some Vanilla products have alcohol in them. Use Vanillin Sugar instead of vanilla (1 pkg. equals 1 tsp. of liquid vanilla.) All fruits and vegetables are Kosher. Here are the most common Kosher product marks:

Note: We are grateful to the original Daughters of Abraham for providing us with their guidelines, from which these have been adapted. The complete set can be found on their website at