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June 28, 2016 2:03 pm

Christians, Jews, Muslims Partner to Provide Food to Needy Moroccan Families During Ramadan

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Rabbi Levi Banon of Jeunesse Chabad Morocco, center, handing food packages to needy Muslims. He led a group of volunteers to hand out the food bags. Photo: Chabad.org.

Rabbi Levi Banon of Jeunesse Chabad Morocco, center, distributing food packages to needy families. Photo: Chabad.org.

Jews, Christians and Muslims engaged in a cooperative effort on Sunday to distribute food to needy families in Morocco during Ramadan, Chabad.org reported.

A total of 1,500 boxes of food, worth approximately $60,000, were delivered to 8,000 Muslim families in three cities. The care packages contained traditional staples — such as tea, dates, lentils and chickpeas — for breaking the Ramadan fast each evening.

The endeavor was organized by the non-profit organization International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), in partnership with the Chabad-Lubavitch of Morocco and the Mimouna Association, a local group of Moroccan Muslim students who work to create ties between Jews and Muslims.

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“We are privileged to help support Moroccans in need celebrate the holy month of Ramadan,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and president of IFCJ, said in a statement. “This inspiring joint initiative serves as a shining model of bridge-building between Christians, Jews and Muslims, and shows that the world’s faith communities can unite around shared values to make a difference for good.”

Rabbi Levi Banon, of Jeunesse Chabad Morocco, led a group of volunteers from the local Chabad and Mimouna to distribute the food bags in the poorest areas of Kenitra, Rabat and Sale. He said Sunday’s efforts were “such a wonderful gesture that really brought out the best in people.”

He added, “It is touching to see that charity that has been done in other parts of the world though the IFCJ is now being felt in the Muslim world, especially beginning in Morocco, a country of tolerance and peace.”

Laziza Dalil, a member of Mimouna, said that some recipients were shocked to discover that packages were being delivered by non-Muslims, as well, but “they really did not care. They were touched by the human gesture of caring, and the fact that people thought about them and their families.”

“This is a beautiful display of how people from different faiths can get together to do something positive,” Dalil said. “We are now two weeks into Ramadan, and some of these families may not have the most basic supplies with which to break the fast.”

Sunday’s efforts replicated a project Chabad launched last year, which provided 250 food packages to 1,300 people, JP Updates reported.

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