Recently I volunteered with an awesome religiously-affiliated community service group at Rosie’s Place, preparing and serving a three-course meal to local women in need. Like me, most of my fellow volunteers were in their 20s or 30s, and as we peeled potatoes and chopped onions together, we joked and chatted about work and school. Some of us were doctors, others in biotech, others MBA students. Most of us seemed to have grown up in the Boston area, although a few of us were from elsewhere in the US or abroad. It was a light-hearted, friendly bunch, and we all had lots of fun serving food to and chatting up the women at Rosie’s Place.
For the past year, MAH volunteers have met once a month to cook and serve to the women in need at Rosie’s Place. Although there’s no age cutoff, the group is generally comprised of young professionals like ReachOut! volunteers who are passionate about their heritage and looking to make a difference in greater Boston. (Except as far as I know, they do not have flying, screeching glow-in-the-dark monkeys. They do have their own aprons though.)
I’m super psyched to report that on Sunday, December 11, ReachOut! will be teaming up with MAH to volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank. We’re going to start the day out with a kosher/halal lunch at the Best Western Roundhouse Suites (which is seriously the most awesomely-shaped shaped hotel I have ever seen), and then do a little interfaith bonding. We’ll all walk over together to the Food Bank to help prepare food for shipment to a variety of shelters and food pantries around Boston. Space is limited so RSVP!
Our event is part of a larger movement sparked by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding in New York City. In addition to being cofounded by Russell Simmons of Def Jam fame, FFEU pairs Jewish and Muslims groups around the world for a day of “twinning.” During twinnings, Jews and Muslims gather for a joint community service project or interfaith dialogue. I first learned about this movement while at the Muslim Jewish Conference in Kiev, Ukraine this summer, which was partially sponsored by FFEU. As soon as I heard about twinnings, I knew we had to get ReachOut! involved. It turns out that our twinning with MAH is one of only five in the world this year that is organized by and for young leaders. Seriously, how cool is that?
In closing, it would be a travesty not to note that the twinning movement is so awesome that MTV’s Jersey Shore devoted an entire episode to the subject in Season 4. But that episode, unfortunately, had less to do with Jews and Muslims and more to do with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s identical twin lady friends. Still worth a mention though, right?
So join us for our twinning on December 11… And, unlike “The Situation” we don’t care if you haven’t GTLed beforehand. (We don’t even mind if you have no idea what GTL means!)
Georgi J. Vogel Rosen first volunteered with ReachOut! in its first cycle and currently sits on the program’s Steering Committee. She is the Assistant Director of Evaluation at a local non-profit that serves severely at risk children and their families, but plans to be a backup singer for Beyonce when she grows up.