The heart in art: Artists express their desire for harmony in 'Shalom/Salaam'

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Renee Frojo
San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 15, 2012
San Francisco Bay Guardian

As the old saying goes, a picture can be worth a thousand words. But a local gallery has united two separate artists stemming from Jewish and Islamic backgrounds to convey only one: peace.

Artist Interview: Tom Block

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Interview with Tom Block
Art Hash, July 2011
Art Hash

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:

Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity (Q & A with Tom Block)

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Joye Shepperd
Washington, DC, June 14, 2011
Washington Independent Review of Books

Shalom/Salaam: The Story of a Mystical Fraternity

Q&A with author Thomas Block

How have the scholars of Jewish mysticism responded to your book? And how does their response compare to scholars of Islamic Sufi mysticism?

By and large, the response and reviews to the book have been very positive. However, some academics have viewed the book with a bit of skepticism due to the fact that I am not a lettered academic myself, yet have had the “audacity” to write an academic book which breaks new ground in the research of the history of Jewish-Muslim relations, as well as Judaism itself.

"Shalom/Salaam" Review by Parabola Magazine

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Rabbi Pamela Gottfried
New York, NY, April 29, 2011
Parabola Magazine

In a world where so many writers of nonfiction illustrate facts and figures in black and white, Thomas Block illuminates the history of Jewish and Muslim mysticism in a vividly hued portrait.  Shalom/Salaam: A Story of Mystical Fraternity is a well-researched and carefully drawn masterpiece.  In this culmination of more than ten years of sustained interest and thorough resear

Review of "Shalom/Salaam: A Mystical Fraternity" by Friends of al-Aqsa

Friends of al-Aqsa
Sarah Irving
England, April 20, 2011
Friends of al-Aqsa

If you believe the narratives of modern Zionists and Islamophobes, Jews and Muslims exist in a natural state of animosity. The relationship between the people of the two faiths is, according to this story, typified by massacres, oppression and antagonism, and the current situation in Palestine is just one episode in a long history of conflicts.

Tom Block: Untold story of Muslim & Jewish Mystics

Read the Spirit
David Crumm
Detroit, MI, April 13, 2011
Read the Spirit

Want something truly provocative to discuss at Passover next week? Or, if you’re among the 2 billion Christians approaching Holy Week and thinking about the history of Jerusalem: Want to revolutionize your understanding of what has unfolded across the Holy Land between Jews and Muslims?

"Shalom/Salaam" Review by Jewish Rennaissance Magazine

Jewish Rennaissance
Agi Erdos
London, England, April 2011
Jewish Renaissance

What an interesting choice of subject. Although Thomas Block is not the first to claim that Sufism, a mystical tradition within Islam, has been a formative influence on the development of Jewish mysticism from the

Common Ground between Islam and Judaism

Gazette review
Brooke Kenny
MD, December 15, 2010
Gazette Newspapers

The Silver Spring resident already is a well-known artist and activist. Matters of social justice fuel Block's paintings, as well his first book, "Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity."

Book review of “Shalom/Salaam”

Publishers Weekly
New York, NY, October 27, 2010
Publishers Weekly

Block, a Jew, independent scholar, and “citizen-diplomat,” spent more than 10 years researching and uncovering the hidden links between the mystical systems within Islam and Judaism, expressed in Sufism and Kabbalah, respectively.

Artists, Activists Unite for Human Rights: Art festival aims to raise awareness, inspire social change

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Luke Wilusz
Columbia, IL, September 27, 2010
Columbia Chronicle

The citizens of Iraq are no strangers to atrocity. Crimes against humanity have been perpetrated there and around the world for years, yet many Americans are largely unaware anything is wrong. This week, a group of artists and legal activists will do its best to change that.

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