On Friday, July 1st 2016, Pacifica Institute was invited to Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Ana to celebrate Shabbat and Ramadan with the Jewish community.
The evening started off with a traditional Shabbat service that took place outdoors in front of the temple. Throughout the service Rabbi Heidi Cohen went out of her way to guide the guests from Pacifica to ensure they understood the different sections. The service was marked by praying for peace and remembering one God, as well as by music and singing by Cantor David Reinwald and the Rabbi.
After the service congregants and members from Pacifica gathered indoors and listened to a presentation on Ramadan by Cassandra Naima Arslan, the secretary of the board of Pacifica Institute, while waiting for the time to break the fast of Ramadan. This moment of fast breaking was announced by a beautiful performance of the Adhan (call to prayer) by Bilal Temel.
The Ramadan dinner itself was a joined effort by both groups. Pacifica Institute provided the main course, while the members of Temple Beth Shalom served up a variety of desserts. Traditional bread breaking symbolized the unity of the attendees.
Dinner was followed by a presentation on the Torah which enabled those interested to touch the Torah and get any questions answered they might have.
The evening was filled with mutual learning and many warm conversations, and ended in plans to repeat similar events in the future.
Pacifica Institute would like to thank all congregants of Temple Beth Shalom for hosting the event and wonderful experience.