On Thanksgiving, Jews and Muslims volunteer together despite Middle East violence

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip towards Israel is about to explode inside the Gaza Strip as seen from the border between Gaza strip and Southern Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Cairo in her diplomatic push to forge a truce between Israel and Gaza rulers of Hamas.

Ariel Schalit, Associated Press

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Our take: Over the years, American Jews and Muslims in the United States have banded together to volunteer at various organizations during the holidays. However, recent rocket exchanges between Gaza and Israel make this year's volunteering even more valuable.

WASHINGTON — Its an idea that feels particularly poignant this Thanksgiving: American Jews and Muslims banding together to help the homeless and other needy people.

The interfaith collaboration has been going on for five years, but the recent exchange of rockets between Gaza and Israel is weighing especially hard on both communities this week. That's why a joint session of sandwich making or a group visit to a nursing home has taken on added significance.

In this time of warfare it was a beautiful experience to see the two come together, said Haider Dost, a Muslim student at Virginias George Mason University who worked with Jewish students to feed the homeless Sunday (Nov. 18) in Franklin Park, just blocks from the White House.

The Franklin Park event is one of more than 17 Jewish-Muslim "twinning" volunteer projects across the nation in the days surrounding Thanksgiving fostered by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

Read more about On Thanksgiving, Jews and Muslims volunteer together despite Mid on Religion News Service.

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