Cherry Street Mosque and Wa Na Wari raising funds to preserve neighborhood centers in the Central District

The Cherry Avenue Mosque has a record of housing Jewish and Muslim communities around the several years. With a new fundraising exertion, the emerging Cherry Street Village hopes to repair the roof and drinking water harm to the higher floor of the building. (Impression courtesy: Samia El-Moslimany)

In its present point out, the Cherry Road Mosque at 720 25th Ave concerning Cherry and Columbia streets is in have to have of major repairs, mostly to take care of the roof and drinking water harm to some of the higher stage classrooms. With a fundraiser, collective members of Cherry Road Village are increasing resources to increase the roof, ushering in a new era for the making as a middle for the religion-based and secular arts groups that kind the collective. The potential residence of CSV will incorporate Al-taqwa Mosque, Cherry Avenue Mosque, Dunya Productions, Kadima Jewish Reconstructionist Neighborhood, the Salaam Cultural Museum and the Middle East Peace Camp. So much CSV has elevated above 42k of their 150k purpose essential to repair and restore the setting up.

The two-story stone and brick setting up with a terracotta tiled roof was developed in 1930, originally as the Seattle Talmud Torah University by Benjamin Marcus Priteca, a noted architect who built some of Seattle’s earliest web sites of grandeur, including the Coliseum Theater (now downtown’s Banana Republic), the Paramount Theater, Temple De Hirsch Sinai on E Pike, and quite a few other motion picture theaters on the west coast.

Functioning on a fork out-as-you-go foundation with Olive Construction, CSV was ready to get started roof repairs in mid-February, putting in a composite roof, but is awaiting additional funding to restore the terracotta tiles and mend drinking water-broken lecture rooms.

“We have appear together underneath the shared mission of preserving this historic constructing for all of our communities,” stated Jonathan Rosenblum of the Kadima. “We’ve bought to set the roof on appropriate so the making stops leaking. Then we’ve bought lots of restore work that needs to be carried out inside the constructing.”

The constructing has in excess of a 90 yr historical past of housing Seattle religion communities, commencing with the Talmud Torah University. In 1980 it altered palms to turn out to be the Islamic School of Seattle, a school founded by five women of all ages which includes Dr. Ann El-Moslimany. the university offered a special progressive education and learning as an Islamic Montessori and Arabic immersion plan. Laila Kabani, a present Cherry Avenue Mosque board member, joined the faculty as a teacher in 2006 and say it experienced an innate sense of social and racial justice, and a sturdy main of BIPOC academics. “There was a beautiful integration of secular and spiritual education,” she mentioned. “Very swiftly I comprehended that we have been actually teaching anti-racist instruction. A social justice component was incredibly, incredibly powerful in our curriculum.”

In the school’s afterwards many years, Samia El-Moslimany, board president of Cherry Street Mosque and daughter of Dr. Ann El-Moslimany, admitted that the university by no means received plenty of neighborhood assist to maintain it. The school closed in 2012. Dr. Ann El-Moslimany, the “last female standing” of the authentic five that started ISS, preferred to get started a progressive faith group that was inclusive for anyone, “even to men and women who were not Muslim,” Samia reported. What followed was the creation of the Cherry Avenue Mosque, a group that centered close to Friday prayer. Men and women were being not separated in the course of prayer, and positions of leadership ended up open to all genders. Cherry Street Mosque shared the developing with a different congregation, Masjid Al-taqwa. A handful of years ago, Rosenblum reached out to the El-Moslimanys, setting up a dialogue about potentially sharing their place with Kadima, who were outgrowing their existing home at the Madrona Presbyterian Church. All-around the similar time, Salaam was also on the lookout for a permanent house, and the concept of a collective village began to form.

Partnering with faith-based congregations, as perfectly as arts and cultural teams aligned in their missions of anti-racism and combating gentrification, CSV hopes sharing the setting up is a way of combining and sharing means in a single of Seattle’s fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods. Even however Ann El-Moslimany passed absent in January, her vision of an inter-religion and arts middle life on. “This is [my mother’s] vision—we can share means,” Samia reported. “We’ll come together to celebrate every single other’s vacations and cultural occasions and join with each other at various times, but there is no want to duplicate sources.”

The CSV eyesight extends even even further. In a collective assertion signed by El-Moslimany, Kabani, and Rosenblum, they mentioned:

Cherry Avenue Village aims to preserve the developing as a welcoming center for various faiths and traditions, in maintaining with its historic part in the neighborhood for the very last 90 several years. At present, among other works by using the making residences Al-Taqwa Mosque, a congregation of largely immigrant community customers which includes from East Africa.

We also imagine the future potential—with fiscal support—of building the parking ton into cost-effective housing and room to be shared with the more substantial local community. In line with other current social housing initiatives in the area, we would purpose to acquire this affordable housing with an eye towards supporting Black households and many others to return to the neighborhood of their historic roots.

For extra about CSV’s fundraising campaign to maintenance the roof, and to donate, look at out their GoFundMe below.

It is the collective design that just could be just one way of preserving the neighborhood. Wa Na Wari, a dwelling for Black artwork, lifestyle, and events, in the Central District is only two blocks absent on 24th and Marion. Opened in 2019 by 4 artists, together with Inye Wokoma, whose grandmother owned the residence since the 1950s, Wa Na Wari is building an option for Black homeownership and belonging via the arts. Some of their targets consist of making collective electric power for arts-based mostly answers to Black displacement and economic vulnerability, and prioritizing Black belonging.

Wa Na Wari kicked off the first phase of their Cash Campaign on March 16. The target is to elevate $600k for a downpayment on the residence, with the very long phrase target of elevating $2.2 million to order the house, and make ADA advancements, and including a studio for artist residencies. At the time of this short article they have raised $520k.

For extra facts on the Wa Na Wari Money Campaign, and how you can donate, stop by their Building Fund page listed here.

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Sharon Eva

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