For those of you who I have not had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Anna Torres-Zeb, and I serve as the Muslim Coordinator at Elon University. I cannot believe that it has been nearly two months since I started — I am truly loving it!

Last week, I, along with several colleagues and students, returned from a week of learning, networking and friendship-building at the Presidential Interfaith Campus Challenge in Washington, D.C. The program was hosted by the White House and invited interfaith leaders, students and policy-makers from around the world. This week, the memories from the week have been turning in my head as new reflections, insights and renewed excitement for the work we do in building bridges of friendship and learning with communities of belief and experiences that may be different than our own.

As I have been going through the week’s notes, one line stands above the others: “Interfaith work is no longer about mere tolerance, it is about appreciating and seeing the beauty in other people’s faiths.” To be the best contributors and participants in our worldwide community of brothers and sisters in faith and humanity, we must learn to consciously seek out the beauty in that which may be beyond our traditions, customs and everyday experiences.

This week, the Muslim and Jewish communities will be coming together to celebrate two important days for our communities: Eid al Adha and Yom Kippur. We are excited that these two holy days fall on the same calendar day this year and cannot imagine missing the opportunity to celebrate and learn together. This shared celebration will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Numen Lumen Pavilion. We also invite you to join us in another opportunity for learning and community building: our annual Eid al Adha Celebration Oct. 1.

Eid al Adha translates as “Feast of Sacrifice” and commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to follow the commandment to slaughter his son. This story of the Prophet Abraham is recognized in many of our traditions. I had the pleasure of sitting with Rabbi Meir and engaging in scripture to learn from one another about this narrative within our traditions. On Oct. 1, we hope that all communities of faculty, staff and students will join us for an evening of food, learning and fun. We will have food from a diversity of cultures — it really is something you won’t want to miss!

I hope that coming together to celebrate will serve as an encouragement to all of us to constantly and consciously seek out the beauty that exists within all of our communities.

Please join us!

Anna Torres-Zeb is the Muslim Life Coordinator at Elon University.