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Nashville Rabbi Invites Muslim Neighbors To Break Ramadan Fast In Synagogue

A Nashville rabbi invited the Muslim community to his synagogue on Wednesday to break their daily Ramadan fast, The Tennessean reported.

Rabbi Joshua Kullock offered to host an iftar, the group meal eaten after sunset during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, at West End Synagogue. Dozens of Muslims ended their fast alongside synagogue members, where everyone ate dates, drank water and enjoyed an evening of shared prayers and rituals.

Kullock told The Tennessean that he was inspired to bring everyone together in unity following the recent attacks on Muslim and Jewish communities.

“We are very good at reacting when something bad happens,” he said. “Part of the challenge that we face is related to our ability to be proactive in building the bridges and building relationships that will allow us to share the bread, to break the bread, to be together to create these friendships that will be beneficial as we continue to create a better society, the Nashville that we are all very proud of.”

The mixed crowd filed into the synagogue about an hour before sunset, many of them wearing traditional clothes and accessories, according to The Tennessean. They took turns praying and asking Kullock and Imam Ossama Bahloul, the resident scholar at the Islamic Center of Nashville, questions about Judaism and Islam.

Conversations continued throughout the night.

“This is what our religions expect from us,” Bahloul said. “We believe that the religious community can be a part of the solution.”

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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