While they may not always agree on American foreign policy matters, members of the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Maryland Muslim Council dialogue group concur that helping the local community is quite important. Last Sunday, April 17, nine volunteers from the BJC and the MMC went to the Pen Lucy neighborhood in North Baltimore to rehab a rowhome for the home-building, non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity. That morning, at 934 Cator Ave., Jews and Muslims worked side by side to improve the city they co-habit. "It makes all of us feel good to help somebody in need of a better home," Shabbir Ahmed, coordinator of the MMC, said from his perch on a wooden ladder. Mr. Ahmed was in the midst of scraping old paint from a back porch awning along with Erica Hobby, director of domestic concerns for the BJC.
Ms. Hobby said their efforts "do a lot of good for the greater community, [which is] very rewarding." The volunteers spent a little more than six hours stripping and repainting the front and back porches, the porch railings and the basement walls, with a short lunch break. As they worked together, the volunteers often schmoozed and joked with each another. "We can be more productive working together than fighting each other," said Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-11th), one of the Jewish volunteers. "Deep down inside, we all want the same thing, which is to live in safe and meaningful communities." (MORE)