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Interfaith Dinner Meant To Promote 'Mutual Understanding' As Conflict Rages In Middle East

Bob Howard via Flickr

As fighting continues in the Middle East, halfway around the world in Tallahassee, people with cultural ties to different sides of the conflict are planning a meal together. Subscribers to three faiths will meet Thursday at the Temple Israel Jewish synagogue to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

It'll be the first time Temple Israel hosts a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner.

“And I am very, very proud of the culture of our congregation that is open to and embraces that type of event," Rabbi Jack Romberg says. 

Romberg says Christians, Jews and Muslims met last year for a meal at the Istanbul Cultural Center. This year, he says, he expects a much larger turnout— and that the conflict in Gaza will be on everyone’s minds.

The dinner is sponsored by the nonprofit Atlantic Institute, whose outreach director, AhmetSodek, says events like these are needed to prevent conflict.

“We need to put more effort to get to know each other, understand each other," he says. "That way we can create mutual understanding and respect."

About 150 Christians, Muslims and Jews are expected to attend the “Table of Abraham” dinner. It will be followed by a group discussion of how each faith shows thanks to God. Romberg says Muslim guests will also be welcome to use the temple's sanctuary for evening prayers.