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Mitzvah Day is joint Jewish and Muslim day of service on Christmas

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio

Members of the Detroit-area Jewish and Muslim communities are joining together on Christmas for a day of good deeds in the Detroit area. It's called Mitzvah Day.

About 1,000 volunteers from both faiths will participate in 43 service projects across metro Detroit.

"It's a wonderful time for those of us who are not celebrating Christmas to help our fellow neighbors and community members," said Amina Iqbal, outreach director for the Michigan Muslim Community Council. "The Muslim and Jewish communities have so much in common, and we all know how acts of kindness unify our hearts." 

Iqbal said the volunteers' work in nursing homes, soup kitchens and shelters will free up their Christian neighbors to celebrate Christmas at home with their families.

Mitzvah Day has been an annual Christmas Day tradition of Detroit's Jewish community for over 20 years, with Muslim participation for the last six, according to Janet Berman, who co-chairs Mitzvah Day.

"I think it is good for us to always remember that there are people out there who need help," said Berman.

Mitzvah Day has been organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, and the Michigan Muslim Community Council.

Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom