This was the third year the Jacksonville Jewish Center and Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida (formerly Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville) joined together to celebrate a festive Shabbat Iftar dinner and study program during the month of Ramadan, a period of elevated sanctity on the Muslim calendar. Chefs from both faiths cooked together in the kosher kitchen and prepared a wonderful meal which was enjoyed after the service.

The program commenced with a brief introduction about the meaning of Shabbat and the significance of Ramadan. A study session and dialogue will be facilitated by the synagogue’s clergy as well as Dr. Parvez Ahmed from the Interfaith Center. Participants in the Sanctuary discussed in table groups what religious values were important to them and why they were interested in Muslim-Jewish dialogue.

Minha and then a musical Kabbalat Shabbat was proceeded by sunset Muslim prayers, then the Shabbat and Iftar dinner. Those attending dinner enjoyed the lively conversation and the Shabbat table rituals.

This event was again a wonderful interfaith celebration, experiencing another faiths traditions and rituals, and sharing a meal and conversation together.