Jewish, Muslim volunteers serve meals to those in need
Volunteers prepare Christmas dinner Wednesday in the kitchen at New Horizons in Manchester. TED SIEFER/UNION LEADER
The event has been put on by the men’s group at Temple Adath Yeshurun for 30 years, but recently other organizations have gotten involved, including Temple Israel and the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester.
But the center of the volunteers’ activities was the New Horizons for New Hampshire shelter and soup kitchen in downtown Manchester, where they prepared holiday meals for the homeless and the needy. During the afternoon Wednesday, more than a dozen volunteers were crowded into the kitchen preparing squash and potatoes for the Christmas dinner. The dishes would be part of a meal that would include chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes, string beans and pie.
“It’s about coming together in fellowship,” said Bruno, who is also a member of the Adath Yeshurun Brotherhood. “It’s part of our service to our community.”In addition to the Christmas dinner, the volunteers served meals on Christmas Eve and a lunch during the day. Salaam Odeh, a member of the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester, was helping to prepare the meal with her three school-age kids. “It’s extremely important for me and my family,” Odeh said. “As Muslims, we believe in Jesus Christ. I wanted to make this as special for the homeless as can be. At the same time, for people who work here, it’s a chance for them to be home and celebrate Christmas with their families, since we don’t celebrate Christmas.”Paul Gladstone, a temple member, had a simple explanation for why he got involved. “I just enjoy doing it,” he said. “It’s a good, good feeling.”
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