Local Leaders of Faith Hosted Discussion on Religion and the Human Body  

In the spirit of peace and wanting to understand how to better work together to achieve common goals, local religious scholars and leaders representing Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Catholic faiths led a panel discussion called Religion and the Human Body at Wayside Cottage in Scarsdale, NY. The Interfaith Community Event drew a diverse audience of many faiths and ethnicities who were tasked in participating in a series of thought-provoking group discussions about the relationship between the spiritual and the physical.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Interfaith events like this are important because they exemplify the healthy state of mutual respect and understanding is core to what our Westchester community is built around and what makes it so strong – and why it’s so important to support its continued growth. Westchester is committed to fostering open dialogues and mutual understanding between all faiths.”

The discussion – which was moderated by Marilyn Walker, Ph. D., a specialist in the history of Islam – had a central focus of exploring the connections between our physical and spiritual worlds – allowing attendees a way to enter into the group dialogue using their real, grounded and concrete physical life experiences as a frame of reference to better discuss their own spirituality.

Westchester Director of Policy & Programs for Faith-Based & Urban Communities Crystal Collins said: “It was an honor to be asked to deliver the opening prayer. Truly, it was wonderful to see how engaged the room was discussing the different ways our spirituality intersects with our being human – and because of the openness and respect in the room, it allowed for a better understanding of different perspectives.”

To learn more about Westchester’s robust Interfaith Community Organizations and how to get involved or find out about upcoming events, contact Crystal Collins at or 914-995-2926.

About Panelists:

  • Amy H. Fisher, an independent researcher, writer and speaker from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Mahjabeen Hassan, a practicing plastic surgeon and Chairperson of the American Muslim Women’s Association
  • Rabbi Lisa Sacks, a Rabbi and director of Lifelong Learning at Bet Torah
  • Michelle Saracino, Ph. D., a Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College, a Catholic University

The event was organized by The Westchester Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the American Jewish Committee for Westchester and Fairfield.