NORTH JERSEY MUSLIMS AND JEWS FEEDING THE HUNGRY AND STANDING UP FOR THE OTHER
Contact: Walter Ruby, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, 917 294-1772
Dr. Aref Assaf, Islamic Center of Morris County, 973 960 2673
In gesture of solidarity and mutual concern, Muslims and Jews from around Northern New Jersey will gather on Sunday November 10, 10:00-3:30 at the Islamic Center of Morris County (ICMC) for a program entitled North Jersey Muslims and Jews Feeding the Hungry and Standing Up for the Other.
Last June, ICMC was victimized by bigots who spray-painted a swastika on the mosque. By holding an event entitled Muslims and Jews Standing Up for the Other at a mosque where the hateful swastika was daubed by bigots—just as has been done at many synagogues—organizers of the event recognize that both communities face the same enemies and affirm that we will form a united front of Jews and Muslims against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.
The event at ICMC is one of the premiere kickoff events for the 6th Annual Global Weekend of Twinning, during which thousands of Muslims and Jews in scores of cities in more than 30 countries around the world will come together to hold joint events promoting communication and cooperation between our two faith communities. The theme of this year’s Weekend of Twinning, which is sponsored by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, is Muslims and Jews Standing Up for the Other.
The day starts with Muslims and Jews preparing sandwiches for homeless and hungry New Jerseyans; an expression of the common moral imperative in Islam and Judaism to help those in society who are most in need. Then we will hold a luncheon during which we will eat the same sandwiches we are preparing for the hungry and hear remarks by leaders of both communities (rabbis and imams from each of the participating mosques and synagogues will be invited to make short remarks at the luncheon, as will local elected officials).
Finally, after a break for Muslim prayer, we will hold a program on the theme of Muslims and Jews Standing Up for the Other. The program includes a short film on this theme by Unity Productions Foundation and a facilitated discussion led by Dr. Ali Chaudry, founder and president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge and Reb Deb Smith, spiritual leader of the Or Ha Lev Jewish Renewal Community.
At the end of the discussion, we will set up a North Jersey Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee which will be empowered to speak out against hate crimes or incitement against either community.
Schedule of the day:
10:00-12:00—Volunteers will prepare sandwiches and salads for hungry and homeless people under the direction of Zamir Hassan and Muslims Against Hunger. The food is to be delivered later to homeless and hungry people at Somerville Food Bank
12:00-12:45 PM—Luncheon–Volunteers will eat lunch from same sandwiches and salads to be delivered to homeless New Jerseyans and hear remarks by leaders of ICMC, other congregations and political leaders.
12:45-1:15–Muslim prayer. Non-Muslim visitors are welcome to observe.
1:30-3:30—‘Muslims and Jews Standing Up for the Other’ program’ including a film and facilitated discussion led by Dr. Ali Chaudry, President and Founder of Islamic Center of Basking Ridge and Reb Deb Smith of the Or-ha-Lev Jewish Renewal Community.
3:30–Zamir Hassan and volunteers leave for Somerville Food Bank to deliver food packages to the hungry and homeless.