A group of local Muslim and Jewish women delivered homemade baked goods to police and fire fighters in eight Westchester towns on Tuesday, December 5. The women, who are members of a chapter of the national organization Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS), wrapped packages of rugelach, cookies baked by the Jewish women, and samosas, savory Pakistani delicacies prepared by the Muslim women. They delivered the gifts to police and fire departments in Scarsdale, Rye, Pelham, White Plains, Bronxville, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck and Hastings.
The goodies were a way to thank local police and fire fighters at holiday time, and also to demonstrate through their group, that those who are different from each other can find common ground.
“I think many of us are feeling the impact of the divisiveness in the country and world, so coming together as sisters to share our commonalities makes us feel united in a goal,” said Lori Amer, one of Westchester Chapter 3 co-leaders.
The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS) is a four-year-old national organization comprised of women from the two religions to form friendships and together perform acts of charity and kindness. Members believe that their joint acts of goodwill and education can counteract the hatred and prejudice that has proliferated across the country.
“Through SOSS we have learned that we are really all part of one community and share similar values and aspirations,” said Dr. Rabia Agha, the chapter’s other co-leader. “We would like to use SOSS as a platform to put forward the message of tolerance, peace and harmony.”
SOSS grows friendships between Muslim and Jewish women to build bridges and fight hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice.