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Interfaith reception set for new imam and rabbis



In a remarkable interfaith gesture, clergy belonging to different religions and denominations are giving a reception for Abdelwahed Ali Awad, new imam of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community Center in Sparks; Evon J. Yakar, new rabbi of Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe; and Meredith Cahn, new rabbi of the North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation in Tahoe Vista.

The reception, organized by the Nevada Clergy Association, will be held at India Kabab & Curry Restaurant, 1091 So. Virginia St./Vassar, Reno, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 3 p.m. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini will preside. The public is welcome to participate. Please pay $5 each to the restaurant for snacks and chai (Indian tea). RSVP to Rajan Zed at [email protected] is appreciated.

Imam Awad, born in Upper Egypt, started studying Islam and memorizing the Quran when he was 15. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Egypt’s Assiut University and, besides Egypt, has traveled to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana lecturing on Islam. The mission of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community includes “to promote the values and teachings of Islam,” and its activities include Friday prayer, a monthly potluck dinner and Sunday school.

Rabbi Yakar besides serving at Temple Bat Yam also works with the Adventure Rabbi, Synagogue without Walls community. A University of Wisconsin (Madison) graduate, he was ordained at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he earned two master’s degrees. Temple Bat Yam is a Reform-affiliated synagogue, which besides South Lake Tahoe also serves Jewish needs and interests in the Carson City, Carson Valley and Dayton areas.

Rabbi Cahn, a University of Pennsylvania graduate with a master’s in public health from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion California, where she earned a master’s in rabbinic studies. The North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation, whose founding was initiated in 1979, is a Reform-affiliated synagogue serving the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

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