PARIS (JTA) — At a glance, the Muslim-Jewish picnic at the peace fountain in Yitzhak Rabin Garden, in this city’s Bercy Park, looks like a reunion of old friends.
Middle-aged men and women sit on blankets and laugh together, snacking on carrots and Middle Eastern pastries. A circle of women dances wildly to the tunes of a guitarist and tambourine player.
But many of the 100 or so people there have never met — at least not face to face.
They are part of a groundbreaking group that is trying to build bridges between Muslims and Jews in France by fostering a community on Facebook where members can interact directly online about the issues that divide them, and then meet at occasional social gatherings like the recent picnic in Paris.