Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple hosted an Iftar dinner on Wednesday, June 6th in collaboration with the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, the Toronto Police Service and Canadian Armed Forces.
This was the third year that the synagogue has hosted an Iftar event during Ramadan.
The program included a panel discussion, moderated by Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc, on the theme, ‘Chaplaincy: Faith-inspired Public Service, its Challenges and Opportunities.’
Panelists included Chaplain Habeeb Alli, a Federal Chaplain, Correctional Services Canada; Captain Audrey Brown, Chaplain, 32 Signals Regiment and Rabbi Michael Satz, Associate Rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple.
“Here we are in Toronto, trying to figure it out,” said Councillor Mihevc. “Interfaith is not something we just tolerate, but something we value.”
In his welcoming remarks, Ahmet Tamirci, National Director of IDI remarked about the importance of having interfaith events, “In the spirit of Ramadan, we are ensuring people understand the importance of this observance for Muslims and try to demystify it.”
“Ramadan fasting is about the relationship between the individual and Allah, it is a reflective period of cleansing one’s soul,” added Tamirci.
“It was a great event of dialogue and learning,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc. “Thanks to Holy Blossom and IDI for pulling it together.
Earlier in the evening, Rabbi Michael Satz gave a very interesting history of Holy Blossom Temple and explained the beautiful stained glass windows in the synagogue.
Founded in 1856, Holy Blossom Temple is Canada’s largest Reform synagogue with 7,000 members and the oldest Jewish congregation in Toronto.
A number of distinguished rabbis have led the Reform institution, including the late Gunther Plaut and Dow Marmur, now Rabbi Emeritus.