Shared Jewish-Arab Ramadan Activities Continue in 2023

Shared Jewish-Arab Ramadan Activities Continue in 2023

April 4, 2023

  Jewish and Arab alumni of Appleseeds Academy at Iftar in Ramle.

Jewish and Arab Alumni of Appleseeds Academy at Iftar in Ramle. Photo courtesy of Orit Bash, Director of Partnerships at Appleseeds.

This year, the holy month of Ramadan is overlapping with Passover and Easter. Many worshippers of all faiths will convene at Jerusalem holy sites that often turn into flashpoints, including the Damascus Gate and Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. While many are worried about increasing tensions or the possibility of violence erupting, by and large these holidays bring joy to their communities. 

During the holy month of Ramadan many people across Israel will participate in Ramadan-related shared society activities. These include iftar meals, tours, and use of virtual educational resources, like a Ramadan guide recently released in Hebrew by Sikkuy-Aufoq to answer commonly asked questions about Ramadan. Sikkuy-Aufoq's guide is meant to promote understanding and foster work enviroments that respect all religions.

Many iftars and Ramadan-related shared society programing has already occurred. Ilan Amit, IATF Israel Representative and Content Expert, joined Jewish and Arab alumni of Appleseeds Academy in Ramle for an iftar. Appleseeds Academy increases digital equity in Israel through its educational programs. Likewise, the Interfaith Encounter Association recently held a communal prayer and iftar dinner. 

Some iftar dinners have specific themes—the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) posted on Facebook about an iftar dinner and discussion in Jerusalem hosted by Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel. During Hand in Hand’s iftar dinner, 16 Arab and Jewish students met to engage in dialogue about the proposed judicial overhaul and subsequent protests. In Nazareth, hundreds of Arab and Jewish guests gathered for an iftar dinner organized by the North Region of the Assocation of Manufactures in Nazareth. Attendees discussed the need to increase Jewish-Arab initiatives and reduce socioeconomic inequality. 

There are also organized tours by organizations like Shared Paths (Drachim Shluvot) that bring Jewish Israelis to Arab communities to learn more about Ramadan and local culture. Ramadan Nights in Bedouin Villages in the Galilee also offer Ramdan tours, iftar meals, and other experiences in Bedouin villages in the Galilee to promote cross-cultural education and relations.

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