Good Works Unite Religions

December 25, 2009

Author: Jeff Karoub

Source: The Detroit News

Wire Service: AP

Many Jews consider Christmas Day an opportunity to serve their community while Christian neighbors celebrate their holiday. This year, what's also known as Mitzvah Day is getting an added boost from Muslims.

For the first time, about 40 Muslims are expected to join 900 Jews for what they call their largest annual day of volunteering. Leaders say it's a small but significant step in promoting good will between the religions.

Mitzvah Day, a nearly 20-year tradition in the Detroit area also practiced in other communities, is so named because Mitzvah means "commandment" in Hebrew and is generally translated as a good deed.

The partnership stemmed from a meeting between the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.