SodaStream holds iftar meal for Muslims, Christians and Jews

Several thousand attended the meal that celebrated unity between different people who work at the factory on a daily basis.

May 28, 2019 09:55
2 minute read.
SodaStream holds iftar meal for Muslims, Christians and Jews

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum with chefs Moshe Segev and Jalal Salem presenting their mixed Jewish-Arab cuisine "Kanafet HaShalom" at an iftar meal. (photo credit: SIVAN FARAJ)

They may have been from different religions, but they ate side by side, as SodaStream hosted an iftar meal at their Negev facility. Over 2,500 people, including coworkers and special guests, attended the traditional evening break-fast for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

SodaStream, the company that manufactures carbonated beverage products for home-use, voiced pride that Jews, Muslims and Christians work together in their facilities.
As they sat down together to break the Ramadan fast, which ends every night of the month at sundown, Daniel Birenbaum, CEO of Sodastream told the crowd he believes in not waiting for elected officials to initiated coexistence measures.  He added that the employees and managers of the factory "need to ensure coexistence and peace between us, not just during iftar, but every day. The thousands of people who are eating here tonight are the light that wins out over the darkness, both under missiles and in tense periods," he said.

Jews, Muslims and Christians share an iftar meal at the SodaStream facility in Israel's southern Negev region. Credit: Sivan Faraj

The SodaStream factory employs 1,400 workers and is located in the Negev region near Rahat, a city of mostly Israelis of Bedouin ethnicity. The company announced the establishment of a special production line for Bedouin women in the Kuseife region and the establishment of a Jewish-Arab nursery in the industrial area in Rahat.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also spoke at the gathering and stated, "I can not think of a more suitable place for an iftar meal than SodaStream, where Muslims, Jews and Christians work side by side in cooperation and friendship. They are living examples of co-existence, the greatest blessing that God can bestow on the human race."

Dozens of journalists from Israel, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium, arrived in Israel for the occasion. 200 residents of cities in Palestinian Authority controlled areas attended as well.

After the traditional meal, Chef Moshe Segev, restaurateur and TV personality joined Chef Jalal Salem, an expert in Italian, Arabic, Moroccan cuisine to present "Kanafet HaShalom," or "peace Kanafeh" a special dessert that mixed Jewish and Arab cuisine. 

The guests also enjoyed performances by Katria, winner of the recent Rising Star song contest, Bat Ella, Hitam Ajshi, and a children's choir composed of 100 Muslim and Jewish children.

SodaStream carbonated beverage makers allow users to make their own fizzy drink at home with special reusable bottles and flavored syrup. In 2015 the company moved their factory to the southern Israeli Negev region from Mishor Adumim, an industrial area located in the post-1967 borders in Israel where they employed a large number of Palestinian Authority area residents. 

In December, Pepsi acquired the company for $3.2 billion.

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