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Citing Shabbat, Orthodox Union Leader Declines Obama’s Ramadan Invite

In the tradition of Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, Nathan Diament, the director of the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs, will be sitting out an important event due to religious observance. Only this time, it’s not a baseball game, it’s a Ramadan feast — at the White House.

Last year, Diament joined Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, Religious Action Center director David Saperstein and a long list of diplomats and politicians at President Obama’s interfaith dinner celebrating Ramadan.

But this year, the Iftar break fast is scheduled for a Friday night, and — as Diament explained in a blog post on the Institute for Public Affairs’ website — he has declined the invitation so that he can observe Shabbat at home.

“It’s a wonderful testament to the freedom we enjoy in the United States that one can be invited to a dinner event with the President and decline on the grounds of one’s own religious commitments and receive complete understanding,” he wrote.

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