New Haven Islamic Center makes hefty donation to Orange food bank
Orange First Selectman Jim Zeoli last week praised the New Haven Islamic Center on Bull Hill Road for a “generous” $1,000 donation to the town’s food bank.
But M. Asaf Sheikh, president of the center’s Board of Trustees, said it’s all a part of the spirit of Islam to “take care of neighbors.”
He said there is a saying that’s part of the religion that he translated to say: “If our neighbors are sleeping hungry we should not go to sleep unless they are fed.”
Sheikh said the donation came about after the center’s Imam Bachir Djehiche and others from the center attended an inter-faith Thanksgiving service at Or Shalom synagogue. It was “wonderful” service, Sheikh said, and at the end, Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus announced they were taking a collection for the local food bank, as usual.
Sheikh said the Islamic Center was not prepared with cash or check because they didn’t know about the collection, so they met on the issue upon returning to the center and decided to give $1,000.
“The size (of the donation) is because we realize this isn’t just for Thanksgiving,” he said, “But after Thanksgiving people are still hungry.” He said the Islamic Center hopes to get involved volunteering at the local pantry and is also active with a food pantry in New Haven.
New Haven Islamic Center member Dr. Amir Mohammed is Health director in Orange.
Zeoli said through a press release the donation is “In the spirit of holidays,” and that he was “humbled by this donation and is grateful to the New Haven Islamic Center for their thoughtfulness.”
“Many residents in need will benefit from their kind gift,” he said.