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Rabbi Raises Funds for Pediatric Cancer, Gets Support from Muslim Community

child with cancer

When Rabbi Vered Harris announced to friends and family she was donating her hair, she never expected she would gain support from her local Muslim community.

According to NewsOKRabbi Harris, the leader of Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City, wrote on Facebook that she was trying to raise money, $3,600 to be exact, for pediatric cancer research. Just a few days later, a local Muslim leader told her that the local Muslim community wanted to help her reach the entire goal amount.

READ: How Being the Rabbi’s Gay Son Taught Me to Be a Good Dad

Harris was so moved, she stated, “I was just so deeply touched. I think that people have so many wrong stereotypes and misconceptions about Jewish-Muslim relations.” The generous response illustrates that regardless of faith, people are capable of banding together for a greater cause.

Imad Enchassi, senior imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, stated that Harris’ character was a factor in their decision:

“When you think about children battling this horrible disease, it hits really deep in the hearts of people. We have never heard of St. Baldricks but it’s simply the fact that we trust the rabbi. She herself has stood with with us against bigotry and xenophobia.”

Today, she will join several other rabbis from around the country, as part of “Rabbis Shave for the Brave” at Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial gathering in Orlando, Florida, which is coordinated by St. Baldricks, a Monrovia, California-based charity. As of now, Harris has raised $9,200.

There’s nothing better than two communities coming together, especially when violence and adversity are prevalent in so many different communities around the world.

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