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.



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