In Detroit, Muslims are joining Jews who have made December 25th mitzvah day. The tradition began when West Bloomfield synagogue in 1993 decided to use the day off for the holiday Jews weren’t celebrating to do good deeds for the elderly and the less fortunate. This year, there were 1, 000 volunteers, and Muslims contributed to acts of charity and good will.
Dr. Muzammil Ahmed says more Muslims are joining the December 25th volunteer effort, transcending tensions between the two communities, particularly in the aftermath of the conflict in Gaza this summer. This isn’t the first year that Muslims have participated in these efforts funded and coordinated by local synagogues; both communities have been working together on the project for six years, but the numbers of Muslim participants are growing, according to the Detroit Free Press.
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The volunteers bake cookies and play bingo with the elderly, provide meals at soup kitchens and help the homeless. Similar efforts are becoming annual events in Denver, where Muslims and Jews are also joining forces to bring joy to the hearts of many. Andrea Muklin-Topos, a Muslim volunteer, told CBS, “It is in all of our religions to do good deeds, to do charity …. and to show my son that this is how we do it.”
Linda Kingston, a Jewish volunteer said, “We all have the day off and we’re not doing anything, so this is a great time to volunteer.”