More than 100 people gathered for an iftar dinner – the evening meal in which Muslims break their fasts during Ramadan – at the temple. Partnered with the Rumi Forum, an interfaith and intercultural organization, the shared meal was meant for people of different faiths to learn more about each other.
Mustafa Akpinar, chief executive officer of the Rumi Forum, said they also host similar events to celebrate holidays like Christmas and Yom Kippur.
“It’s a beautiful way of getting to know our brothers and sisters by experiencing and learning from each other,” Akpinar said.
The temple has held many iftar dinners over the years, said Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg of Ohef Sholom. Despite the difference in religious beliefs, attendants often find they’re more alike than they would believe.
“Peace has to start in relationships between people, and you can only build those relationships by getting to know each other,” said Mandelberg . “It’s too late to wait until a crisis occurs to come together.”
It’s about building bridges while breaking bread, she said.