Synagogue Invites Syrian Refugees to Chinese Dinner on Christmas

A New Jersey synagogue had recently arrived Syrian refugees join them for what has become Jewish tradition on Christmas: Chinese Food.

“As Jews, we all come from refugee families and we know in our bones what it’s like to have hateful rhetoric directed toward us,” said Rabbi Tepperman of Montclair N.J.’s Bnai Keshet, whose members organized the gathering for 10 families, all Muslim. “Many of our parents were Holocaust refugees.”

“Members of our congregation and people throughout the Jewish community have really felt called to help the refugees,” Tepperman told NJ.com.

The Friday evening event coincided with the Sabbath and began with started with blessings over candles and challah bread, the news site reported.

The liaison to the refugees was Rana Shanawani, who said the families quickly accepted the synagogue’s invitation.

“It’s so wonderful, I’m so happy there is so much enthusiasm on both sides,” Shanawani said.

Organizers said the message they wanted to send was solidarity with the refugees and against anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiments.

Author

John A. Oswald

John A. Oswald

John Oswald is The Forward’s deputy digital media editor.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Synagogue Invites Syrian Refugees to Chinese Dinner on Christmas

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close