Community faith leaders join to honor Salam Clinic with the Malachi Interfaith Award

Congregation Temple Israel is hosting a special Shabbat service and award ceremony to present its Malachi Interfaith Award to Muslim Community Services in
Saint Louis – Salam Clinic, a free clinic founded by Muslim doctors with two locations in North St. Louis. The award aims to honor the clinic for their work in providing free medical care to in-need St. Louisans.

The month-long Malachi nomination process yielded many wonderful submissions for worthy programs, services, and leaders that serve people of all faiths, bridge communities, and build relationships. The Malachi nominating committee, which includes faith leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Catholic communities, met to choose the 2019 award recipient in early December 2018. Salam Clinic was selected both for their extraordinary work to serve others, as well as their decision to offer their services in locations based on greatest need, regardless of faith, race, or ethnicity.

Reverend Dr. David Mehl, Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis; Reverend Rodrick Burton, New Northside Missionary Baptist Church; Father Joseph Weber, St. Monica Parish; Pastor Matt Miofsky, The Gathering Church; Imam Muhamed Hasic, Islamic Community Center; Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Jewish Community Relations Council; Rabbi Emeritus Mark L. Shook, Congregation Temple Israel; Rabbi Amy Feder, Congregation Temple Israel; Rabbi Michael Alper, Congregation Temple Israel; and Jeremy Deutsch, Program Liaison, Congregation Temple Israel

Congregation Temple Israel invites the St. Louis community to celebrate Shabbat and present the 2019 Malachi Interfaith Award to Salam Clinic during MLK weekend.
This event is open to the St. Louis community, is free of charge, and no RSVP is required.

DATE: Friday, January 18, 2019
LOCATION: At Congregation Temple Israel (#1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Dr., 63141)
6:00 pm Pre-reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres
6:30 pm Shabbat services and award presentation followed by a dessert reception
(Refreshments will be halal)
AWARD: Representative(s) from Salam Clinic will be awarded the Malachi Interfaith Medal of Honor and a $5,000 cash prize.

In 1986, Congregation Temple Israel established the Malachi Award Competition which seeks to showcase individuals, programs, and acts of outstanding excellence in the area of interfaith relations. The Malachi Award is given to encourage positive programs of religious, social, and humanitarian significance in the Greater St. Louis area. The award seeks to honor individuals and groups who have acted at the highest level of religious tradition with a positive course of action. Award recipients receive the Malachi Interfaith Medal of Honor and a $5,000 cash prize.

Through volunteering their medical expertise for local service projects, a group of Muslim doctors realized the lack of access to health care for low-income residents within their St. Louis community. The doctors chose to come together to assist those in-need, and as they explored potential areas to open a free health clinic, they decided upon North County. St. Louis’s Interfaith Partnership and a local nonprofit, Faith Beyond Walls, connected the them with Reverend James Morris at Lane Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the groups began talks of a partnership. The first Salam Clinic was opened at that church not long after in June of 2008, and more recently, a second location at UCC St. Peters Church in West Florissant.

Though the doctors are motivated by the tenets of their Muslim faith, Salam clinic was opened for anyone who needs care, and many of those served in North County are of varying ethnicities and faiths. Open for a few hours on Saturdays, the clinics are staffed by physicians and nurses of many religious backgrounds and sees anywhere from a few patients to 20 or more on a busier day. The clinic has also set up a partnership with St. Mary’s Heath Center, so screenings and lab work can be obtained free of charge for all patients.

By simply opening a free health clinic led by Muslim medical professionals in such a religiously and racially diverse area, interfaith relations continue to improve. The clinic’s presence helps to break down social barriers, stereotypes, and biases, and fosters a connection and a trust between people who want to serve and those who rely on the service that Salam Clinics offer the community.
“Dr. Bastani (one of Salam Clinic’s founders) represents a true interfaith humanitarian. He is a Kidney Specialist who has helped to interpret the complicated ethical issues involved with the supply and distribution of organs to those in need. He has even been instrumental in creating a fair and just program for the country of Iran. He compassionately represents the Muslim Community regarding the understanding of end-of-life issues. He is a wonderful physician, teacher, and poet. He represents the very best of interfaith collegiality.”
-Dr. Ira Kodner, colleague of Dr. Bastani
“Dr. Bahar Bastani serves on both the Interfaith Partnership Board of Directors and the Cabinet as a voice for Islam and for the Shi’a community in particular. He is a tireless and trusted ambassador for “all things interfaith”. Dr. Bastani weaves together his practice of medicine and his deep faith in ways that teach and inspire us all. When asked what it is within his practice of Islam that compels him to serve in a leadership role with the Salam Clinics in our community, his response was filled with humility and service of others: “Prophet Mohammad said: “People are all family of God. The most loved ones by God are the ones most beneficial to His family”.
-Rev. Dr. David Mehl, Executive Director, Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis
Past Malachi Interfaith Award Recipients
1986 Women of Faith
1987 O’Ray C. Graber
1988 Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis
1989 David Oughton
1990 Allen and Dottie Miller, Eden Theological Seminary
1991 Doorways Interfaith Residence for Persons with AIDS
1992 Harry James Cargas
1992 Father Vincent Heier
1993 Rabbi Robert P. Jacobs
1994 Central Reform Congregation and Cote Brilliant Presbyterian Church Joint Venture Program
2007 Dr. Mohammed Waheed-Uz-Zaman Rana
2010 Rabbi Mark Leslie Shook
2012 Reverend Earl E. Nance. Jr.
2015 Sister Carla Mae Streeter

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