Feb 12, 2020

Conveners of Interfaith Community Service Day. Back left to right: Walter Ruby, Project Rozana Greater Washington Chapter, Qadir Abdus-Salaam, Masjid Muhammed, Rabbi Jeff Saxe, Temple Rodef Shalom. Front left to right: Ehsan Baig, Nausheen Baig, Rizwan Jaka.

On February 9, Project Rozana Greater Washington Chapter and two of America’s most prominent mosques, the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center) in Sterling, VA and Masjid Muhammad, a predominantly African-American mosque in inner city Washington, convened the first annual Interfaith Community Service Day at the ADAMS Center. This was to help impoverished residents of inner city Washington.

This first-of-its kind event in Greater Washington drew 15 co-sponsoring organizations and about 200 volunteers of all ages, faiths and ethnic backgrounds to the ADAMS Center for a joyous and uplifting occasion.

They packed an astonishing 400 care packages, filled with non-perishable food products, as well as socks, gloves, combs, toiletries and personal items.

The volunteers also bonded and shared fellowship over a delicious spicy Pakistani meal. And held a strategy session to consider how the interfaith community can work together more effectively going forward to alleviate hunger and deprivation in the inner city. On February 22, members of Project Rozana Greater Washington Chapter and its partners will deliver the care packages to residents of south east Washington at a community food distribution drive at America’s Islamic Heritage Museum.

Interfaith Community Service Day was the latest – and most ambitious – action to be performed by members of Project Rozana Greater Washington Chapter to fulfill our dual mission.

This is supporting the life-saving work of Project Rozana in Israel/Palestine by raising funds to pay the gasoline costs of one Palestinian and one Israeli volunteer driver in the Adopt-A-Driver program. And working to make a positive difference in the lives of impoverished residents of inner city Washington.

Both aspects of our dual mission are an expression of the moral imperative in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and all faith traditions to save lives and to offer compassion and to those in society who are most in need.

Attendance at Interfaith Community Service Day greatly outpaced expectations. Over twice the number of volunteers showed up, and more than 15 co-sponsoring congregations and organizations signed on as co-sponsors of the event, many at the last minute. The co-sponsors included..

  • Temple Rodef Shalom
  • McLean Islamic Center
  • Immanuel Presbyterian Church
  • Washington Hebrew Congregation
  • Palestinian Youth Group
  • Beth Chai Congregation
  • Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society
  • KindWorks
  • Jews, Muslims and Allies Acting Together (JAMAAT)
  • Washington Area Jews for Muslim-Jewish Understanding
  • Virginia Poor Peoples Campaign
  • National Association of Muslim-Americans on Scouting
  • The Sikh Community of Greater Washington
  • Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
  • Fulani Women Association of North America

Attending the event from Project Rozana Washington Chapter were…

  • Carolyn Amacher
  • Ovais Sheikh
  • Andrea Barron
  • David Fishman
  • Veronica Slootsky
  • Shabnam Curtis
  • Rasha Latif
  • Rana Latif
  • Susan Weiss
  • Rebecca Aronson
  • Tatyana Rapaport
  • And Washington Chapter coordinator, Walter Ruby

Andrea Barron, a veteran community activist in Washington since the 1980’s, called Interfaith Community Service Day “fabulous”; stating,

“This was the first large event I have attended which combined interfaith action with service to poor communities.”

Project Rozana Greater Washington Chapter would like to thank our convening partners who helped to make the event such a success…

  • Qadir Abdus Salaam and Albert Sabir of Masjid Muhammad
  • And Rizwan Jaka, Nausheen Baig, Ehsan Baig and Hurunnessa Fariad of ADAMS Center.

According to Washington Chapter coordinator, Walter Ruby…

“It is gratifying that Project Rozana, which is doing so much to save lives and improve health care in Israel-Palestine, is also leading the way in a unique Interfaith initiative to alleviate suffering in inner-city Washington. All 200 volunteers at Interfaith Community Service Day were united in spirit, and each of us is inspired by the conviction that we can alleviate suffering and create hope if we stand together. We are just getting started.”