Jewish, Muslim volunteers come together for Christmas day of service


VALLEY PARK, MO (KTVI)- Jewish and Muslim groups join forces for a day of service on a Christian holiday.  It is an annual tradition that has picked up steam.  Volunteers gathered inside area mosques and temples and welcomed anyone of any faith to join them for a day of service.  The event is sponsored by The Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis and the Islamic Foundation Of Greater St. Louis.

Last week, volunteers prepared packages for deliveries to a number of people, including first responders working on Christmas. On Sunday, special deliveries were made all across the region.

Ghazala Hayat of the Islamic foundation of Greater St. Louis, says, “People feel that you can hold hands. There is networking.  There is brotherhood…sisterhood. We are all together and I always believe it just proves that a majority of the people are loving no matter what faith you belong to, what race you belong to, what your beliefs are …if you have no belief. You all are together and do it.”

Rabbi Jonah Zinn of Congregation Shaare Emeth adds, “But it also creates an opportunity for Jews and Muslims who might not otherwise interact or know each other to build relationships that will hopefully continue, that will be there when we need one another.”

The effort began six years ago with some 50 volunteers.  This year, the number of volunteers stood at nearly 900.