Last night at Holy Blossom we hosted our Muslim partners from the Intercultural Dialogue Institute of the GTA for an Iftar dinner (a Ramadan break-the-fast). We have held this event four times, and every time real meetings over good food are had between Jews and Muslims and others. We have had programs about religious views of fasting, revelation, national service, and our program last night was about coming together against hatred. I wish we didn’t have to talk about this in what is usually a joyous event, but this is the time we live in. Our Iftar program last night, I hope, is a preview of a program we at Holy Blossom are holding on June 17—Antisemitism and Islamophobia: Moving from Hate to Hope.
The program will be a discussion between Imam Hassan Gulliet of Quebec and Marnie Fienberg, daughter-in-law of Joyce Fienberg, a woman who grew up at Holy Blossom and was tragically killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Moderated by Global News’s Farah Nasser, our participants will talk about how they have moved from their tragedies to fostering interfaith understanding and cooperation.
I said at our Iftar event that when we sit down (and eat) and talk to people who are not a part of our community, we create a new community. Creating this new community doesn’t mean that we agree on everything. It doesn’t mean that we break down all our differences and that we are the same, but it does mean that we see the other as the image of God. It does mean that we cannot hate. Please join us to create a community of love to combat hate.