Over 350 people made their way down 72 feet of fabulous food at the Tri-Faith picnic at Temple Israel on August 17. Rabbi Aryeh Azriel opened the picnic, inviting Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders to offer prayers for peace. Rabbi Josh Brown, the Rev. Chris Alexander from Countryside Community Church, and Nizam Quassem from the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture brought prayers from the three faith traditions.
Farhan Khan cooked 240 halal hamburgers and 300 kosher hot dogs to feed the crowd estimated at 350-400. We ran out of name tags at 300 and people kept coming, bringing a bounty of salads, ethnic dishes, fruits and desserts that filled 9 long tables.
Children played in the bounce house, had their faces painted by Omaha artist Jessica Kirk, and crowded around the snow cone machine for an icy treat on a hot afternoon.
People who hadn’t visited Temple Israel before took guided tours with Temple Program Director Scott Littky. For some Christians and Muslims, it was the first time they had ever been inside a synagogue.
Everywhere you looked, people were talking with new friends and old. As Temple president Mike Halsted said “It’s great to see people so engaged”.
It was an afternoon to celebrate that not only is the Tri-Faith Initiative possible, it is happening.
Thanks to our corporate sponsors for the picnic: