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New York Muslims & Jews Gather for Lunch & Fellowship

NEW YORK – The Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers and the Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes (IAFL) in New York, the USA announced teaming up next Sunday, April 14 to host a potluck lunch, My Twintiers reported on April 10.

“One of the things that have been bothering me personally, and as an organization, is that we have these two organizations in this area, the Jewish community, and the Islamic community, we’ve so much in common, and yet we essentially don’t interact with each other,” said Marcus Kantz, President of the Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers.

Last March, Kantz reached out to the imam of the IAFL’s mosque and said, “isn’t there some way we can get together as people, and he said ‘that’s a wonderful idea.’”

The event will be held at 2 pm at the headquarters of IAFL which is located on Hickory Grove Rd. in Horseheads. All members of the Jewish or Muslim communities are invited to attend, and bring a vegetarian main dish, salad or dessert.

Closest Locals

On its official website, Jewish Elmira announced: “We have much more in common with our Muslim friends and neighbors than we do with any other group in our local community. It’s time that we celebrate together, as friends. And we will!”

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The very close relation between Judaism and Islam is evident since the 7th century with the spread of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula which already had several Jewish communities. In fact, the two religions share similar values, guidelines, and principles.

Islam also incorporates Jewish history as a part of its own. Muslims regard the Children of Israel as an important religious concept in Islam. There are approximately 43 references to the Hebrews in the Holy Qur’an (excluding individual prophets), and many in the Prophetic Hadiths.

Moses, the most important prophet of Judaism, is also considered a prophet and messenger in Islam. Prophet Moses is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an more than any other individual, and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet.

Because of the similarity between both religions, as well as through the influence of Muslim culture and philosophy on the Jewish community within the Islamic World, there has been considerable and continued physical, theological, and political overlap between the two faiths in the subsequent 1,400 years.

New York Coexistence

The city of New York is the most populous city in the USA with an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 784 km2.

With 59% in 2014 reports, Christianity is the most prevalent religion in New York. It’s followed by Judaism, with approximately 1.1 million adherents, who make up 18.4% of the city.

Islam ranks third in New York with estimates ranging between 600,000 and 1,000,000 observers. Moreover, 24% of New Yorkers self-identified with no organized religious affiliation.

There are many common aspects between Islam and Judaism. As Islam developed it gradually became the major religion closest to Judaism, both of them being strictly Monotheist religious traditions originating in a Semitic Middle Eastern culture.

Islam is similar to Judaism in its fundamental religious outlook, structure, jurisprudence, and practice. Islam and Judaism share the idea of revealed scripture. From this, they share many other fundamental religious concepts such as the belief in a day of Divine Judgment.