After the one mosque in the small town of Victoria, Texas mysteriously burned to the ground on Saturday, representatives of the single Jewish synagogue gave keys to the mosque founders so their community could have another place to pray.
“Jewish community members walked into my home and gave me a key to the synagogue,” mosque co-founder Shahid Hashmi told the New York Times.
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Religious leaders in the town of about 65,000 have done other interfaith work, including a three-week event a few years ago during which the synagogue, mosque and a church hosted each other’s members.
“This is sad for everyone in the community and as Jews we especially have to feel for the Muslim community. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together,” (said Robert Loeb, president of the Bnai Israel synagogue).
Also, Loeb added, sharing the space just made sense: “We have probably 25 to 30 Jewish people in Victoria, and they probably have 100 Muslims. We got a lot of building for a small amount of Jews.”