Muslim and Jewish youth groups unite to serve

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Rabbi Gila Caine (L) and Nesrine Merhi-Tarrabain

Young women from the Muslim group Gathering Angels and the Bat Mitzvah group from Temple Beth Ora organized a care package and lunch service for people in Edmonton, Canada, recently “I really want to teach these girls that our job in this world pretty much is to serve others,” said Nesrine Merhi-Tarrabain, the leader of the Gathering Angels. She said that she has been encouraging her girls to volunteer for several years and recently got a call from a local Jewish temple to suggest a collaboration.
“I thought that would be a great opportunity. First of all, getting them to go out and volunteer and do something meaningful, and the other thing… would be to get to know other kids from the wider Edmonton community,” said Gila Caine, the rabbi at Temple Beth Ora.
About two dozen teens participated around a dozen from each group. “When it comes down to helping others, we should put our differences aside, and truly just bring out our humanity in us. We should really serve others for that reason,” said Merhi-Tarrabain. She said that many of the girls in the group donated some of their own money to buy supplies for care packages.
Nour Tarrabain, 16, said that the experience of volunteering with another religious group has helped give her a new perspective. “It’s been very eye-opening,” she said. “Two completely different groups and religions coming together and doing the perfect thing: giving back to the community and just helping one another.