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Sharing Friendship and a Meal across Faiths and Cultures

In early May, the Middle Eastern and North Africa and Muslim Affinity Group (MENA + Muslim AG) invited the Jewish Affinity Group to a Mimouna celebration — a post-Passover tradition generally celebrated in Morocco and Northern Africa. At this time, Muslim neighbors and friends often bake foods with yeast for their Jewish friends, as they were not allowed to eat leavened foods during Passover.

“This lunch was introduced to AFS through MENA affinity, as we had been wanting to do more activities with Jewish affinity for a while now,” writes Leila Cohen ’26. “And because Passover just ended, we all agreed that this would be perfect!”

The lunch was attended by more students than the group had anticipated, but there was still plenty of food for everyone. All along one large table, students from both groups laughed and shared stories, worked through tough conversations and learned more about one another.

“It was nice to be able to talk as a big group and share great food!” says Leila. “I also think that the lunch sparked a lot more talk of how to connect our two communities further. We want to create a space next year for many different conscious community groups to meet up, which I think will be a great way to bridge the gaps in the community!”

“I am so grateful to them for creating this space and inviting us to it,” writes Yael Smith Posner ’25, from Jewish Affinity Group. “Food is both a simple human need and a way to build connections through shared culture. I am inspired to continue working with MENA + Muslim AG to build community in the face of a world where we are being torn apart and pitted against each other.”

The groups also shared their gratitude toward Dina Cohen and Adena Dershowitz, the faculty advisors for MENA + Muslim AG and JAG, for their support.


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