Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown Wednesday night, coinciding for the third year in a row with Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
The relatively unusual calendar occurrence is being used by religious leaders to urge two communities often at odds as a result of six decades of Arab-Israeli strife to come together.
"With Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah falling around the same time this year, Muslims, Jews and other Americans will have an opportunity once again to involve in spiritual reflection and renewal, and learn about each other's faith and traditions," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director for the Greater Los Angeles Area of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Rabbi Jim Kaufman of Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village echoed that sentiment, telling the Daily News: "This is an opportunity for moderate-thinking Jews and moderate-thinking Muslims to celebrate their respective faiths and respect the paths of God that others have chosen."
Along with prayers at temples and synagogues, large Islamic centers and mosques, Jews and Muslims are called on to devote the next several days to introspection, generosity, forgiveness and personal renewal. (MORE)