April 29, 2022 — Washington, D.C.
Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff joined the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) and other multifaith groups for an Iftar, the evening meal following the daily fast for Muslims during the month of Ramadan.
Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, was in conversation with Rashad Hussain, the U.S. Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Some 200 religious leaders, diplomats, civil society activists, scholars, artists, business leaders, and others attended the Iftar at the U.S. Institute of Peace, which was held to celebrate religious diversity in the U.S. Ramadan coincided this year with important observances among other faiths, including Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
“Douglas Emhoff is an important American voice to champion the cause of bridge-building between diverse faith traditions of our country,” said MJAC co-chair Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors. “We are grateful the Second Gentleman was able to join us and redouble his commitment to advocate religious freedom for all.”
The evening also included performances of music and poetry from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions. Among them ADAMS Beat, the first mosque-based youth choir in America, sang songs about peace in English, Arabic and Hebrew.
“The social fabric of our country is enriched by our religious, ethnic, racial, and political diversity,” said Stanley Bergman, MJAC co-chair and Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc. “An evening like this demonstrates that our work together in partnership and our focus on the common values we share strengthen our democracy as a force against hate and discrimination.”
MJAC was founded in 2016 by American Jewish Committee with Muslim and Jewish community partners. The council, which has chapters throughout the U.S., has two policy objectives: to combat the rise in hate crimes and promote the important contributions of Muslims and Jews to the U.S.
Other groups that took part in the event included Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program, Multifaith Neighbors Network, Shoulder to Shoulder, America Indivisible, Center for Interreligious Understanding, Council of Centers on Jewish Christian Relations, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, and Dialogue Institute.