By COLlive reporter
An Iftar break fast meal in the Muslim month of Ramadan was a strictly Kosher affair in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights on Wednesday evening.
The event was hosted by Imam Rasheed Jaaber and organized by newly elected Assembly Member Brian Cunningham. Guests hailed from local Muslim and Chassidic Jewish communities.
Cunningham, who represents Assembly District 43, could not attend in person due to a court ruling this week on disrupted election districts, requiring urgent legislative action.
The community meal was the first public event hosted by the Assembly Member, who started his term on March 30th, 2022, setting the tone for his term: inclusive, uplifting and nurturing.
Held at the Kawthar Mosque on Nostrand Avenue, it was attended by a group of Chasidic Jews invited to partake in the spirit of unity and friendship between the Jewish and Muslim communities in the neighborhood.
The lavish spread for the traditional break fast was strictly Kosher, provided by the Jewish Future Alliance of Crown Heights and Association of Crown Heights Shuls.
The selection of glatt kosher food and sweets were prepared by Kosher Caterer Meir Cohen, and was greatly enjoyed by all the participants of the event.
The menu included an assortment of dates, mixed nuts, chicken stew, Chinese chicken, couscous, Baba ganoush, Chumus, spicy carrots, cinnamon and chocolate danishes, Baklava and mahmols, and teas and coffee.
100 people participated, including Imam Muhammad Jaaber from New Jersey, Mark Appel of The Bridge, Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, Rabbi Lazer Avtzon, Yankee Pearson, Yossi Hershkop, Mendy Weisz, and Itzik Roytman.
Imam Rasheed Jaaber of Masjid Kawthar opened the event, welcoming participants and reciting a prayer.
The event “bridges the gap between communities, to create a rapport to work together. We want to show that support for each other so we can face any challenge that comes to the neighborhood. We are all the children of Abraham,” said Imam Rasheed Jaaber.
Rabbi Yaacov Behrman of the Jewish Future Alliance spoke about the values shared by the Jewish and Muslim communities.
“The world and the media focus on what we disagree on, and not about what we have in common and our shared values,” Behrman said. “Tonight, we recognize what brings us together.”
Rabbi Lazer Avtzon of the Coalition of Crown Heights Synagogues said a prayer that is traditional in Morrocco, and several other Imams and Muslim business leaders spoke as well.
“We are honored and privileged to have been invited to participate in this important event. It was an incredible evening of unity, friendship, and community building,” said Behrman. “This is the beginning of something beautiful.”