In the midst of hatred, violence and divisions, especially after the recent elections in the United States, members of the South Asian community came together to unite people of different faiths. The New Jersey-based South Asian Community Outreach organization held an ‘Interfaith Holiday Party’ in Edison, N.J. on December 14th. Attended by leaders of different faiths, elected officials, and others, the highlight of the event was the coming together of the Indian and Pakistani communities, organizers said.
Exceptional elected officials, members of the community, and organizations were recognized at the event including Freeholder Sergio Granados (SACO Civic Award); and NAACP Rahway /CARTERET Chapter (SACO Martin Luther King Junior Human Rights Award); Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America (SACO Community Service Award); and Sparsh Shah and Phu Patel also received awards for service. Numerous other awards were also handed out to community members.
Among those attending the event were Consul General of Nepal Krishna Kumar Subedi, Consul General of Pakistan Raja Ejaz Ali, New Jersey State Senators Sam Thompson, Ray Lesniak, Pat Diegnan, N.Y. State Assembly members Nancy Pinkin and Raj Mukherji, Edison Mayor Tom Lankey, Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry, East Brunswick Mayor-elect Brad Cohen, and Somerset Freeholder Brian Levine.
Interfaith leaders attending included Rabbi Joel Abraham, Temple Sholom; Hindu leader Colonel Virendra Tavathia; Imam Syed Rizwan Rizvi, Masjid-e-Ali; Reverend Karen Johnson, The Unitarian Society; Sikh spiritual leader Giani Gurbachan Singh; and Buddhist spiritual leaders H .Kondanna chief monk of Staten Island.