An interfaith dinner and conversation about integrating immigrants into the Portland community will be held Thursday evening at St. Pius X Church on Ocean Avenue.

Israeli Consul General Yehuda Yaakov has been invited to talk to the dinner crowd about how Israel was able to overcome its immigration issues. Since 1948, Israel has welcomed millions of people from dozens of countries.

Each wave of immigrants posed challenges for Israel around the issues of housing and employment – challenges that the city of Portland is facing now. Nearly 15 percent of Portland’s population of 66,000 people are immigrants.

“When I think about the problems and challenges in the world, I believe there is so much that can be done locally. Conversation amongst people of diverse faith backgrounds can build huge bridges of understanding and solutions beyond any one person’s ideas,” Fae Silverman, program coordinator for the Jewish Community Alliance, said in a statement.

Thursday’s event is sponsored by the Jewish Community Alliance and the Abbey of Hope, a local nonprofit that seeks to create more interfaith dialogue. The dinner is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.