July 22nd saw the last of the 2014 Community Iftar dinners for Pacifica Institute, Sunnyvale Branch with a wonderfully diverse turnout of faiths and local public officials.
Groups from Campbell United Methodist Church, Good Samaritan United Methodist Church, Hindu American Foundation, Silicon Valley Interfaith Council, and First Presbyterian Church of San Jose accounted for over forty guests who were eager to meet new friends, share and understand the Ramadan Iftar experience, and eat great foods. There is no doubt that everyone was pleased on all levels their experience.
Several attendees were invited to share their thoughts or remarks after dinner.
First to comment was Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County Supervisor who started his comments by thanking Pacifica’s leaders for reaching out to the communities and making everyone feel so welcome and at home. Supervisor Cortese also shared that his wife, Patty, had fasted for eight years at Ramadan as a statement of her non-violence beliefs and in solidarity during the unrest in the Middle East.
Next Dr. Nadeem thanked the many faiths who had joined the Muslim community during this month of Ramadan. He went on to say that Muslims have an opportunity and an obligation to benefit from the education, technology, and wealth of the Bay Area. Dr. Nadeem suggested that the Muslim community needed to not neglect serving their communities through the political processes.
Santa Clara County Sheriff, Laurie Smith, remembered several years ago when Pacifica Institute leaders first approached her and how impressed she was with the efforts and accomplishments of Pacifica Institute within the communities. Sheriff Smith then expressed her thanks for being included again this year to share Ramadan.
Larry Esquivel, San Jose Police Chief, thanked Pacifica for the honor of inviting him back for the second year. He praised the cooking, the company, the friendships, and thanked God for allowing all us to all come together for the evening.
Last to share thanks for being included was Mountainview City Police Chief Max Bosel who was attending with his wife, Adrienne. He explained that this was his first event as the newly appointed Police Chief and that he was looking forward to sharing the experience with his staff. Chief Bosel described Mountainview as a small but very diverse community not unlike the group in attendance this evening, and that Pacifica’s mission to bridge the gap between peoples and faiths is not unlike what those in the police department try to do.
Mahmut Altun, Pacifica Institute Director for Northern California, thanks all of the guests for their attendance with a special thanks to all the Pacifica Institute members and volunteers for their part in making the evening a success.
We look forward to seeing everyone again at future events.