In late June, fellows and graduates of the Mandel Center for Leadership in the North gathered at the Abu Jameel Ranch in Baqa al-Gharbiyye for an Iftar meal, the evening meal that breaks the daily Ramadan fast. Thirty fellows and graduates attended, including representatives from the Mandel Programs for Local Leadership in Kafr Qara, Tira, Afula, Migdal HaEmek, and almost the entire group of fellows from Baqa al-Gharbiyye.
Organized by the fellows of the Baqa al-Gharbiyye program, the evening was facilitated by program directors Shahira Shalaby and Dr. Asaf Turgeman. It was an opportunity for the fellows and graduates from Afula and Migdal HaEmek to participate in Ramadan events in Baqa al-Gharbiyye alongside graduates and fellows from the Mandel programs in Tira, Kafr Qara, and Baqa, and to become acquainted with a beautiful place – a real gem – in the city.
The fascinating remarks by Dr. Turgeman about the prayer to the Compassionate and Merciful God in Islam and in Judaism, the blessings and explanation about Ramadan by the Baqa fellows, the remarks of Dr. Danielle Shani, and the connections that were made between people working in and interested in the same fields, who sat down to talk or exchanged telephone numbers – these are all a further step toward building a connected and active community for improving life in the region.