Two Congregations Join To Celebrate Thanksgiving Together
The inscription carved over the entrance to Temple Beth-El of Rockaway Park reads: "To the Glory of God and the Brotherhood of Man." On Thanksgiving, at 10:30 a.m., the temple joined with First Congregational Church of Rockaway Beach, as it has for eight decades, in an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service demonstrating the meaning of these words.
Rabbi Allan Blaine welcomed all to the temple, following an organ prelude played by Linda Lensu, music director of First Congregational Church. The temple's cantor, Jeffrey Wolk, sang a spellbinding version of "Sim Shalom" (Grant Us Peace).
Rockaway Rotary Club President Daniel Mirkin, representing himself as well as the Rockaway Rotary Club, said that he had been coming to the annual event since he was a child and attended with his parents, Jean and Allan Mirkin.
"I have always had a warm feeling when we all get together and we thank God for what we have been given and for a more peaceful world," Mirkin said.
An offering was collected to benefit Peninsula Hospital Center. Pastor Joseph Medlin of First Congregational Church delivered a sermon reflecting on the wider spiritual significance of recent events in the U.S.
The service ended with the singing of "God Bless America." Food and beverages were shared after the service in the temple ballroom.