Tambourines under a Durham NC church’s stained glass window



The Zakat Foundation will host their International Winter Festival at Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman (in Parkwood, 5122 Revere Rd) on Saturday, December 4, noon–3pm. Learn about and play games from nine featured regions—Bangladesh, eastern Africa (Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe), Egypt, India, Morocco, Palestine, Pakistan, Turkey, and Bosnia)—and sample delicious foods from each. Zakat will also collect new and lightly used winter items for orphans and local refugees in need. Visit the Facebook event page for more info, and call Atika Azeem at 732-318-7864 or Sadia Khalid at 206-954-2133 if you have any questions.


The Center for Muslim Life at Duke University will host its weekly KitabConnect on Tuesdays, 6–7:30pm. Verses of the Qur’an will be read in Arabic, followed by a group discussion and reflection on the meanings in English. You can attend in person at the Center (406 Swift Ave) or online via Zoom. Visit the Facebook event page for more info.


​Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman (3034 Fayetteville St) offers Qur’an and Islamic Studies Classes for Revert Muslims* on Fridays from 8:30–9:30pm. Men and women, including young people age 14+, are invited to attend classes led by Imam Dr Ehteshanal Haque Alig and to learn the Arabic alphabet, basic Arabic words, phrases, and punctuation; to start reciting the Qur’an; to learn Islamic guidelines and prayers, and more. Click here to fill out the form and to indicate whether you already know some Arabic and also whether you’re already familiar with the Qur’an.

*  People converting to Islam are called “revert Muslims” because it’s generally believed that everyone is born a Muslim even if they don’t practice the faith. Current Muslims who want to improve their reading and pronunciation skills are also encouraged to attend.

A free Arabic Course for English-Speakers will be held on Saturdays, 6:15–7:15pm, and will be led by Imam Ehteshamul Haque Alig from Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman. (The course was originally offered by Madinah Islamic University.) Click here to register for this free online course, and write to jiarimam1@gmail.com if you have any questions.


Judea Reform’s Saturday morning Torah Study Sessions will start at 9am. You can watch and participate from the website or Judea Reform’s Facebook page. If you plan to join the study sessions via Zoom, please register first by writing to Lois Price at lprice@judeareform.org. (Click here to attend via Zoom).


Here’s the November lineup for the Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse’s free music concert series. This Christian-music venue is located at 2700 N Roxboro Rd, at St Paul United Methodist Church, and donations are always graciously accepted. Call 919-220-2458 or visit the website to view the full schedule:

  • Saturday, December 4, 7:30pm—bluegrass gospel band New Direction

  • Saturday, December 11, 7:30pm—classic country and bluegrass artist Robert Buxton

  • Saturday, December 18, 7:30pm—Americana singer-songwriter duo Dackel (Walter Miller and Phil Natchett) 

  • Saturday, January 8, 7:30pm—the old-time music of Gnarly Blue.


Beth El Synagogue will host Yeshiva Week on Monday, November 8 through Friday, November 12. The theme, Tefillah: Consciousness Within, Among, and Beyond, invites the faithful to expand their concept of prayer to include struggle, imagination, and the connection to one’s community. Click here to register and to see the schedule, and you’re welcome to attend in person at the temple (1004 Watts St) or virtually via Zoom. 


Bill Gaither and the Gaither Vocal Band will appear in concert at King’s Park International Church (1305 Odyssey Dr) on Saturday, November 13, 6–10pm. Guest artists joining this renowned gospel group will include Kevin Williams, Gene McDonald, and Ladye Love Smith. Tickets are $30, $27 for seniors and kids ages 2–12, and $25 for church members; click here for more info and to reserve yours.


The JIAR Youth Committee will host a Fall Fest at Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman (5122 Revere Rd, the Parkwood masjid) on Saturday, November 20, 1–5pm. They’ll have face painting, bouncy houses, vendors, and more. Click here to register, and click here to fill out the form if you’d like to be a vendor at this free event.


The New Visions of Africa Restaurant (1306 Fayetteville St) announces their participation in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. Locally, this program is run under the Durham Health and Human Services through their Child and Adult Care Food Program. Free Snacks and Meals will be distributed on weekday afternoons to people in need from 3 to 6pm. Grocery Giveaways are held on Tuesdays at 12:30pm; be sure to sign in by noon. Write to community@nvoac.org for more info. Don’t forget your face mask.

King’s Park International Church (1305 Odyssey Dr) will host its Food Pantry & Clothing Closet on Wednesdays from 5 to 6pm. The House of Mercy Food Pantry and Clothing Closet will give away fresh, frozen, and canned foods and gently used clothing to individuals and families in need. Click here for more info.

The Salvation Army of Durham (909 Liberty St) has Free Food Fridays, where people in need can receive help from 1:30 to 3pm every Friday. You can get some canned goods, meats, drinks, snacks, hygiene items, and even pet food. Be sure to take a copy of your apartment/home lease agreement and a current photo ID; they advise that you take a strong bag as well. Call 919-688-7306 for more info. Volunteers are needed to help sort, package, and dispense items on Free Food Fridays. If you’re available on Fridays from 7:30 to 11:30am, click here for more info.

If you’re able to help the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry distribute food and household items for people in need, please drop off your donations at Jewish for Good at the Levin JCC (1937 W Cornwallis Rd, at the curb) on Fridays from 2:30 to 4:30pm. Here’s what’s needed most: Nonperishable, unexpired shelf stable food, such as canned tuna, dried pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter, canned beans, canned vegetables, canned soup, canned fruit, paper grocery bags; also unused, packaged hygiene products, such as bar soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, and travel-size shampoos, conditioners, and body soap.

White Rock Baptist Church (3400 Fayetteville St) will have their monthly Community Food Distribution on Saturday, December 11, 11am–1pm. Drive up on the Fisher Development side of the church. Click here for more info.

Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman will have their monthly drive-through Neighborhood Food Pantry Giveaway in the parking lot of the 3034 Fayetteville St location on Saturday, December 11, 2–4pm. Click here to view the events at both locations (the Parkwood masjid is at 5122 Revere Rd).

Jewish for Good/Levin JCC will host their Community Chanukah Celebration on Sunday, November 21, 3–5pm, at 1917 W Cornwallis Rd. Enjoy the BMX (bike) stunt show, the fire truck chocolate-gelt (coin) drop, donuts, hot latkes, and fun activities for kids (including Chanukah crafts). Win prizes! Free admission; visit the Facebook event page for more info, and text Yehudis at 919-357-5904 to RSVP.

Jewish for Good/Levin JCC will host their Outdoor Chanukah Celebration on Sunday, November 28, 4:30pm, at the Streets at Southpoint (8030 Renaissance Pkwy, in front of Barnes & Noble). Kids can enjoy Chanukah crafts, latkes, donuts, and will receive Chanukah prizes. Free admission; visit the Facebook event page for more info, and text Yehudis at 919-357-5904 to RSVP.

Various houses of worship provide groceries at no charge for people in need, and Durham Congregations in Action has a calendar showing where you can go to get help. Just click on the buttons below:

​Here’s where you can get some groceries:

Here’s where you can get a hot meal:

Here’s where you can go if you need emergency shelter:

And here are all kinds of services offered to people in need: