Hillel and Jewish students host “Bedouin Hospitality Night” with Muslim Student Association

Amy Borngrebe

In celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Hillel and the Jewish fraternity AEPi reached out to the Muslim Student Association and invited them into their Sukkah in an effort to dispel the commonly held belief that Muslims and Jews do not get along.

Alex Aschmi puts wood on the fire while Jewish and Muslim students find similarities at "Bedouin Hospitality Night"
Alex Aschmi puts wood on the fire while Jewish and Muslim students find similarities at “Bedouin Hospitality Night” on Tuesday at the Hillel Center. (Photo credit: Amy Borngrebe)

Sukkot is a Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus of Jews out of Egypt. During this week-long holiday, the tradition is build a Sukkah, a traditional hut. It is a gesture of peace and love to invite others into the Sukkah.

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“It is a mitzvah (righteous deed) to have guests in your Sukkah and that is something that Judaism and Islam have in common,” said Zack Josephs, Jewish life liason for Hillel.

The “Bedouin Hospitality Night” took place at the Hillel Center on Laurel Street, and the Sukkah was converted to a Bedouin theme to incorporate Muslim tradition. Attendees included students from the MSA, the Arabic Club, AEPi and Hillel. Kosher and halal foods were served to accommodate the traditions of both religions.

“We met the coordinator [from Hillel] earlier and he was so respectable,” said Zaid Algahtani, a student from the Arabic club. “Everything here is so great.”

The Sukkah was donned in multicolored lights and paper fruits to commemorate the harvest time of year. Students sat on the floor on pillows, in accordance with the Bedouin theme. Outside the Sukkah, a fire blazed while two groups of people came together.

Hillel and AEPi collaborates in night of peace at the "Bedouin Hospitality Night" on Tuesday at the Hillel Center. (Photo credit: Amy Borngrebe)
Hillel and AEPi collaborates in night of peace at the “Bedouin Hospitality Night” on Tuesday at the Hillel Center. (Photo credit: Amy Borngrebe)

“There seems to be this idea in peoples’ heads that Muslims and Jews hate each other, when in reality we have a lot of similarities,” said President of the MSA, Israa Eldeiry. “We want to erase this image from peoples’ minds.”

Hillel is hoping to collaborate with other minority groups on campus and do more interfaith events in the future.

“We want to embrace and collaborate with other minority groups, in an attempt to show that every student, alike, shares one family that is mankind,” Josephs said.

Collegian Diversity Beat Reporter Amy Borngrebe can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @ABornCollegian.