(submitted by Georgi Vogel-Rosen)
On Sunday, December 11, nearly 40 Jewish and Muslim young leaders gathered at the Greater Boston Food Bank, where they packaged over 5,000 pounds of donated food and other items to be distributed to local families in need. The event, dubbed the Interfaith Day of Service, was co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council’s ReachOut! young adult community service program and Muslims Against Hunger.
“The desire to help those in need transcends religious and ethnic boundaries,” said Georgi Vogel Rosen, one of the event’s organizers. “ReachOut! volunteers have been working on hunger issues since the group’s inception, and we are so excited to join with Muslims Against Hunger in this effort. Working together will only make us more effective.”
The volunteers first met for a catered kosher/halal lunch at a nearby hotel and participated in fun, interactive icebreaker games which focused on their commonalities. As they chatted and laughed together in small groups, volunteers talked about their families, movies, music, their names, and their mutual affection for Fenway Park. The group then headed to the Food Bank, where they sorted and boxed enough meals to feed 3,774 people in the Boston area.
Jordyn Rozensky, the Young Adult Social Justice Coordinator at the Jewish Community Relations Council, reported that there was a lot of enthusiasm around the event. “”The feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive. Participants welcomed the opportunity to join together and adress issues of hunger and poverty together. Along the way real connections were made as volunteers shared laughter, stories and an experience of giving back.”
Nazia Ahmed, who heads Muslims Against Hunger, agreed. “It was a pleasure working with ReachOut and the JCRC. The event was really successful in bringing Muslims and Jews in the Boston area together for the common goal of helping the less fortunate. I hope that we can continue to work together for the common good to benefit others as well as to build bridges of understanding between Muslims and Jews.”