US Muslims join Jews for Christmas Day Mitzvah
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Last Updated: Friday, December 25, 2009, 12:16
Detroit: Many Jews consider Christmas Day an opportunity to serve their community while Christian neighbours celebrate their holiday. This year, what's also known as Mitzvah Day in southeast Michigan is getting an added boost from Muslims.

For the first time, about 40 Muslims are expected to join 900 Jews for what they call their largest annual day of volunteering.

Leaders say it's a small but significant step in defusing tensions and promoting good will between the religions - particularly on a day that is sacred to Christianity, the third Abrahamic faith.

Mitzvah Day, a nearly 20-year tradition in the Detroit area also practised in other communities, is so named because Mitzvah means "commandment" in Hebrew and is generally translated as a good deed.

The new partnership stemmed from a recent meeting between members of the Council of Islamic Organisations of Michigan, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit - which said it was unaware of any similar Mitzvah Day alliances.

The Jewish groups organise Mitzvah Day, which consists of volunteers helping 48 local social service agencies with tasks such as feeding the hungry and delivering toys to children in need.


First Published: Friday, December 25, 2009, 12:16

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