Event that took place at Concordia

Jewish and Muslim students join to celebrate R-osh Hash-amadan

By Karen Herland

Students gathered at Hillel House to share traditions. Standing is Muslim Students Association president Abdullah Hasen, welcoming guests. Behind him (obscured) is Hillel Concordia president Mitchell Sohmer.

On Sept. 23 about 30 people gathered around a table at Hillel House on Stanley St. to share mergez, shawarma, kabobs and hummus. The occasion was R-osh Hash-amadan and the guests included 10 members of both Hillel Concordia and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) along with representatives of the CSU and Multi-faith Chaplaincy.

Hillel Concordia president Mitchell Sohmer had been thinking about a way to bring these groups together since the summer. “Luckily this year our holiest of holiday have fallen around the same time which gave me the idea to name the evening in honor of both.” He approached MSA president Abdullah Husen and the project grew, with input from members of both groups.

Everyone invited was asked to keep the evening focused on religious and cultural exchange. “Even though there are incidents in modern and old history where Muslim and Jewish nations were at war or political conflict there is no conflict or inherent hatred of any sort between the two faiths,” remarked Husen. The Hillel House chef prepared the meal and costs were shared between the two groups.

Placemats with brief descriptions of the meaning of both Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan were designed. Both Husen and Sohmer introduced the meal. Later, CSU president Amine Dabchy spoke of the close relationship of Jews and Muslims in his own country, Morocco.

“I was surprised at how well everyone got along,” Husen said, adding that he overheard those present making plans to meet again informally in the coming weeks, both for more meals, and to visit a synagogue and a mosque.

“It was a privilege to be present and to witness this celebration. These are exactly the kind of events Multi-faith Chaplaincy is trying to promote,” said Ellie Hummel, Ecumenical Chaplain and coordinator of the Multi-faith Chaplaincy. She added that the spirit of the evening captured the newly launched We Value… campaign. “The evening showed that Concordia truly values diversity, respect as well as faith.”

Original article can be found here.



General Information Session

Date: Thursday, 29 October 2009

Time: 4:30 – 5:30

Location: Room 289, University College,  The University of Western Ontario

Join us this Thursday to hear what exactly the Tzedaka/Sadaqah Project is all about. Find out how you can get involved and how to volunteer with us. Hear about the program from past participants and get to know fellow students who are interested in giving back to the local community.

Click here to RSVP to the Facebook event.

***Please note: The location of the meeting has been changed ***

Activity Update

This semester students have continued to volunteer at Dundas United Church’s Out of the Cold program, every Wednesday between 4:30  and 6:30 pm.   Dundas United Church is located at 482 Dundas Street, at the corner of Maitland and Dundas.  If you are interested in volunteering  please contact us at tzedakasadaqah@gmail.com .

We are currently working on accomodating students who are interested in volunteering at a soup kitchen,  but are unavaible on Wednesday evenings.




Facebook Group

Feel free to join our facebook group by clicking here.  We will be holding a general information session later this week, so be sure to stay tuned!


About Us

The Jewish and Muslim communities share many important values that originate from common religious teachings. As students, we want to illustrate the importance of working together through shared values to make a difference in our local community, despite our religious and political differences.

Last semester, Muslim and Jewish students took part in a joint initiative to volunteer at the Dundas United Church’s Out of the Cold program – distributing food to London’s homeless and underprivileged. Through the initiative, students have also been able to build meaningful relationships with other student volunteers.

Both Judaism and Islam value Tzedakah or Sadaqah, which literally means “charity”, and also encompasses all acts of compassion and generosity. By sharing in this act through the Out of the Cold program, we help to build a more positive atmosphere not only on campus but also in the greater community. We envision that our Tzedakah/Sadaqah project will not only be limited to the Out of the Cold program, but will also act as a foundation for more programs in the future!

Vision Statement:
1. Give back to the community
2. Focus on mutual values within our faiths
3. Gain an understanding of one another’s faith
4. Build bridges between our communities
5. Encourage a tolerant and respectful atmosphere on campus
6. Acknowledge that differences exist in political views
7. Have fun!