One of the main projects in class is the site visit. Every student must visit a religious site outside their tradition. Not just a different denomination, but a different community outside your comfort zone.
This is one of the most challenging and transformational assignments. Yes, it will be uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe a little intimidating or scary. But in every single case, students have not only come back alive but inspired and transformed. Keep in mind that academia is not just about reading books at the library, but also engaging with your subject and getting first-hand experience. The art of interviewing and observation is not just the prerogative of journalists. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One thing I can tell you for certain is that people, regardless of who they are, want to share their story -EVERYONE-. If you care enough to ask, you will hear amazing stories.
Researching your chosen site before assisting is imperative. Learn about dress codes, rituals and also when is the best time to assist, or if they have upcoming events or festivities. It is very recommended that you call beforehand and explain that you are a student interested in visiting. Most likely they will arrange for some representative to greet you at the entrance and show you around. This person can become your gatekeeper and further introduce you to the community for a fuller experience.
Assist at least three times. The first time, will allow you to break the ice, by the second visit you should be making connections, and by the third, people know you are genuinely interested and will open up even more.
As part of this assignment, students are expected to keep a journal- this journal can be in the form of a video, an audio, or notes. You post at least 1 journal entry describing your process of access, challenges, interviews, etc. By sharing your personal experience you can help or inspire other classmates through the process.
This space will be used for you to also publish your site visit paper. (More instructions are available on the syllabus).
Here is a list of places in South Florida that you can visit. Keep in mind that your options are NOT limited to this list. Do your own research and help by adding more religious sites to the list.
RELIGIOUS SITES OF SOUTH FLORIDA
A REMINDER TO ALL STUDENTS THAT THE SITE VISIT AND REPORT MUST BE DONE FOR A RELIGIOUS TRADITION THAT IS NOT THE STUDENT’S OWN. I strongly recommend to start your fieldwork early, and to attend at least 3 times to have a successful report.
ISLAMIC: the times to go are Fridays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Female students can bring a scarf with them if they don’t want to stand out, but it is not required.
Miami Gardens Mosque (Sunni) 4305 N.W. 183 street
Miami, Florida 33055
Mosque of Miami (Sunni) 7350 N.W. 3rd Street Miami, Florida 33126 305-261-7622
Masjid Al-Ansar (Sunni) 5245 N.W. 7th Avenue Miami, Florida 33127 305-757-8741
Islamic School of Miami Masjid al-Noor (Sunni) 11699 SW 147 Ave Miami, FL 33196
Tasnim Uddin, Principal of School
Friday: 1:30 pm, Islam School on Sundays: 10am-12pm (behind the Exxon gas station)
Islamic Jafferia Association Imambara (Shia) 10554 N.W. 132nd Street
Hialeah Gardens, Florida 33016
Muhammad’s Mosque # 29 (Nation of Islam) 5660 N.W. 7th Ave.
FIU Bahai Club 305-436-2490
Bahai Faith (South) 9300 S. Dixie Hwy. Miami, Florida 305-570-8886
Bahai Faith (North) 4365 Rock Island Rd. Ft. Lauderdale
(North of Commercial) 954-524-4084
Sokka Gakkai International Miami Community Center 20000 S.W. 36th St.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33332 954-349-5200
Avalokitesvara Buddhist Study Center (Buddhist) 7550 S.W. 82nd Court
Miami, Florida 33143
International Zen Institute of Florida (Buddhist) Dharma House
3860 Crawford Avenue
Miami, Florida 33133
Wat Buddharangsi Temple (Thai, Buddhist) 15200 S.W., 240th Street
Amida Temple (“Pure Land” Buddhist) c/o Kuang-Hsi Wu
12815 S.W. 119 Terrace
Miami, Florida 33186 -305-385-2866
International Dharma Center (Buddhist) P.O. Box 141728
Coral Gables, Florida
305-267-8000 (Ileana Davis)
Kagyu Shedrup Chöling (Tibetan Buddhist)
1905 Monroe Street
Hollywood, Florida 33020 954-920-1346
HINDU: Plan to attend Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Shiva Vishnu Temple 5661 Dykes Rd. (S.W. 160th Ave)
Pembroke Pines (Davie)
(I-75 north, exit at Sheridan, go west to Dykes Road, then go north for about a mile, temple on the left)
The South Florida Hindu Temple 13010 Griffin Road
Hare Krishna Temple 3220 Virginia St. Coconut Grove, Florida 305-442-7218
SIKH: Plan to attend Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Sikh Society of Florida 16000 Sterling Rd. Pembroke Pines, Florida 954-680-0221
(Same directions as to Shiva Hindu Temple, but closer to Sheridan on Dykes Road)
Jain Center of South Florida
1960 N. Commerce Parkway #11 Weston, FL 33326
Here is Direction Link for Jain center. http://jaincentersfl.com/direction.html
JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN
Synagogues: Friday evenings, near Sundown; and Saturday mornings, 8:00 a.m. only.
Christian churches: 11:00 a.m. morning service. Consult Yellow Pages for synagogue or church nearest where you live.
Students are encouraged to do detective work and find representatives of the other major world religions in Miami or the South Florida area: Taoism, Confucianism (Chinese), Shinto (Japanese), and Zoroastrianism (Persian/Iranian, and mostly in Bombay, India).