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Sinai Synagogue holds annual fundraiser, welcomes Iraqi refugees

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

On Sunday, a local synagogue opened up their building to promote community togetherness at their annual fund-raising event.

Nearly eight hundred people enjoyed the 40th annual spaghetti dinner at the Sinai Synagogue. The money raised goes towards community service project and funds education programs at the synagogue.

This year, members of the local Jewish community donated 50 tickets to the growing Iraqi refugee community.

Haider Alkilidar came to the country from Iraq with his family in 2012.

“We came through very complicated circumstances. We had been threatened, I actually lost one of my family members there in a terrorist attack and the situation was getting worse and worse,” says Alkilidar.

Alkilidar and his family now live in Mishawaka. He says it’s events like this that show him how open and welcoming the community is.

“I came here and I am starting all over again. I have a long way to get back to my career but at least we feel safe here. We feel welcome here,” says Alkilidar.

Chairman Nate Cossman has been planning the annual fundraiser for 35 years. He says with President Trump’s immigration order, it was important for them to do things a little different this year.

“We have to overcome that and try and bring things back together because we are the United States. We want to show we are open to everybody, I think the country needs that. We are all human beings,” said Cossman.

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