The teenagers regularly visited Third Street Promenade, whether to shop, eat or catch a movie. But in a Santa Monica district known for attracting people from all over the world, their outings were too often punctured by messages of hatred and bigotry.

They heard people spewing Islamophobic barbs and other divisive remarks, and they didn’t want to stand idly by.

So they started sharing their own dispatches — of tolerance, respect and love.

“They wanted to do something to show that Muslims and Jews can stand together to fight these messages, to provide a different way of looking at things and to share stories of how they can positively put their voices out into the world,” said Andrea Hodos, the program director for NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. “We work on building robust and enduring relationships between Muslims and Jews in Los Angeles.”

The teenagers, whose so-called Circle of Courage on the promenade earlier this year was filmed and turned into an online video, participate in NewGround’s program for high school students, MAJIC — Muslims and Jews Inspiring Change.

The high school program was launched about five years ago as NewGround expanded beyond its original mission to start dialogue between Muslim and Jewish adults. The cohort began this month.

And the organization still offers programming to adults through a 9-month fellowship, applications for which will be accepted through the end of September. Participants learn about Judaism and Islam, grapple with the harsh realities of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and broach the Israel-Palestine conflict, maintaining their relationships through their disagreements.

“It’s possible to maintain strong and supportive relationships even through conflict,” Hodos said. “We don’t take a public stance. We’re interested in helping people to see these issues in multidimensional ways.”

Housed at City of L.A. Human Relations Commission, NewGround is trying to facilitate discussions to improve understanding between two groups that officials believe have much in common. The group is close to celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“Our principle is putting relationships in front of politics,” Hodos said. “Conflict is inevitable but not intractable, and the Muslim and Jewish communities in Los Angeles are stronger when we stand together.

“Both communities have cultural and religious bases that we share. We can enjoy those things together, and we can learn about one another. We are both religious minorities in America who have, at different times, experienced similar things. People have mistrusted us. Both have been under different kinds of suspicion. People have not understood us. We can be allies.”

Hodos said interactions between Muslims and Jews can inspire people of other faiths, backgrounds and beliefs to find common ground as well.

“Muslims and Jews present a really positive challenge to the rest of democratic society,” she said. “People view us as enemies, but if we can come together, then other people should be able to do it too.”