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Breaking bread: Muslims, Jews come together for Ramadan feast • Brooklyn Paper

Breaking bread: Muslims, Jews come together for Ramadan feast

Ramadan Kareem!: Interfaith community members gathered for an Iftar dinner at the Kings Bay Y on June 14.
Photo by Angel Zayas

They all came to the table!

More than 300 Muslims, Jews, and Christians broke fast together at the Kings Bay Y in Sheepshead Bay on June 20, sharing traditional halal and kosher foods for an Iftar dinner — the meal in which Muslims break their daily fasts during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It was beautiful to see so many people of different faiths sit at the same table — considering the international animosity between the followers of Judaism and Islam, an organizer said.

“It was perfect,” said Fethullah Onal, who directs the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn. “We like to share our values with our Jewish friends and our Christian friends,” he said. “We’re happy to be here and share the importance of interfaith dialogue for global peace.”

The night proved that Brooklynites of differing faiths can get along, another local leader said.

“I think it really gives a very good face to this community,” said Rabbi Shlomo Segal from the Kehilat Moshe of Sheepshead Bay. “It allows people of good will to get together and share teachings and to really break bread and interact with each other and get to know each other a little bit better. There are always things in the news that are very negative, and our purpose here is to enable religion to become a positive force in the community.”

Segal and Hakan Yesilova, editor of the Islamic magazine “The Fountain,” led a prayer service together, and attendees also enjoyed Sufi music — traditional during Ramadan — along with Hebrew tunes, Onal said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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