The evening was sponsored by CBE’s Social Action Committee’s Na’aseh group. Na’aseh, which takes its name from the Hebrew meaning “we will act,” is a recently formed activist arm of CBE’s long-standing Social Action Committee. It was established to take specific actions in the realms of basic human rights, civil rights, social justice and environmental protection.

Na’aseh is comprised of three working groups, one of which is devoted to immigrant and refugee issues. According to Social Action and Na’aseh co-chair Ann Budner, the working group was seeking an opportunity to support and engage with a local immigrant or refugee community. They reached out to long-time Acton resident Isaac Mulumba, a leader in the Ugandan-American Muslim Association, hoping to build a connection with recent Ugandan immigrants. The dinner marked the first major connection between the two communities.

Faridah Lubega and Cindi Silverman enjoy a post-dinner conversation in the Congregation Beth Elohim social hall following the interfaith dinner.
Faridah Lubega and Cindi Silverman enjoy a post-dinner conversation in the Congregation Beth Elohim social hall following the interfaith dinner.

Prior to the dinner, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, of Congregation Beth Elohim, and Sheikh Rajab Mayanja, of the Ugandan-American Muslim Association, welcomed the assembled in the synagogue sanctuary and spoke warmly of the ties and history linking the Jewish and Muslim communities. After dinner, Ugandan Muslim community organizer Musa Mugenyi spoke of the community’s hopes for a cultural center and continued connection with Congregation Beth Elohim. All expressed strong hopes of continuing the connection and exploring future collaborations.

Social Action and Na’aseh co-chairs Ann Budner and Barbara Frank Michaelsen may be reached at socialaction@bethelohim.org. Rabbi Michael Rothbaum may be reached at rabbimike@bethelohim.org.

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