Milwaukee religious leaders speak on significance of Easter, Passover and Ramadan coinciding

NOW: Milwaukee religious leaders speak on significance of Easter, Passover and Ramadan coinciding

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- If you are religious in any way, you were probably celebrating on Sunday, April 17. Religious leaders say for the first time in 30 years, Easter, Passover and Ramadan were all happening at once.

At the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Rabbi Hannah Wallick said Passover, which started last Friday, is kicked off with a shared meal between family and friends called Satyr. Satyr, the story of the Israelites being freed from hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt, is told as if each of the people retelling the story were there.

"Really it's the beginning of the story of the Israelites, who were kind of a clan and a family becoming a people," said Rabbi Wallick.

At the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, executive director Othman Atta said for Ramadan, Muslims fast from sun up to sunset for a month, coming together at night to break their fast as a community.

"It's really a time of spiritual renewal, it's a time that families become more active, there's people coming together," said Atta.

Officials with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee said keeping in mind Easter, Passover, and Ramadan, there's an even bigger picture here.

Pardeep Kaleka, director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, said Sikh people like himself celebrate around this time of year as well -- as do many other religions.

"If you look at Easter, if you look at Ramadan, if you look at Passover, Holy Vaisakhi," said Kaleka.

A common theme is renewal.

Christ rising from the dead. The birth of the Israelite people. Renewing your faith in your community.

Kaleka said it comes at a time of great division in American society, which is why he thinks it's a good time to look at what we have in common, rather than what's different.

"It feels like the universe is sort of conspiring to bring us together," said Kaleka.

"Connecting with people who are different from ourselves, I think that is so important," said Wallick.

"That'll give an example to everyone else in society that anything is possible in that regard," said Atta.

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