Four reasons to attend the interfaith iftar for humanity
May 25th — If you attend one community iftar this Ramadan, this should be it.
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, OBAT Helpers, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, and Congregation Beth-El Zedeck invite you to break bread with them on Saturday May 25, 2019 for an interfaith Iftar. The interfaith Iftar is being held to raise awareness and funds for Rohingya refugees who, after having fled persecution, violence and genocide in Myanmar, are now settled in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. OBAT Helpers, an Indianapolis based nonprofit, addressed this humanitarian crisis by providing initial relief to the refugees through distribution of meals and essential items of daily living, followed by continued efforts to rebuild their lives through provision of shelters, education, empowerment opportunities and health care.
Iftar or breaking of the Ramadan fast will take place at 9:01 pm. This evening meal will be preceded by an hour long program in which you will hear from representatives of the sponsoring organizations and learn about the impact of the Rohingya crisis. We will have Rabbi Glickman and his wife as our keynote speakers who both have been to the camps and established a community kitchen for the Rohingya people.
Why should you attend this interfaith iftar?
First, it will be a great starter iftar. If you are a non-Muslim who has never attended an iftar during Ramadan, this iftar could be easier than an iftar at which you’re the only non-Muslim. That isn’t really true: you would be very welcome at every iftar this Ramadan. But you will perhaps feel more comfortable asking questions if there are other newbies and Muslims at your table.
Second, you’ll be able to learn more about OBAT Helpers and the essential work it’s doing in Bangladesh. In 2017. when a million Muslim Rohingyas were driven from their homes in Burma, OBAT was prepared to move into the camps almost immediately to provide assistance. Learning about OBAT will help you understand better the virtue of compassion that Ramadan embodies.
Third, you can learn why Jewish communities across the US have embraced the cause of the Muslim Rohingya in Bangladesh. Narratives common in the news often portray “Jew vs. Muslim” as an age-old and implacable conflict. In reality, Jews care passionately about genocide, and the Rohingya are facing the worst genocide we’ve seen in decades.
Fourth, meet Action Corps, an entirely volunteer advocacy organization for human rights. Action Corps are driven by the two humanitarian crises of the Rohingya and the Yemenis. When you leave the iftar (after donating generously to OBAT), Action Corps board member Kim Kiser will help you get involved in lobbying for the cause.