The below information came from a press release.
Cheshire’s Temple Beth David has grown so much since its founding that its sanctuary at 3 Main Street cannot accommodate the entire congregation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when the congregation worships in two separate rooms.
But this year, it will be different. All members of Temple Beth David will worship together in one holy space this September — down the street in the sanctuary of First Congregational Church on the green.
Temple Beth David will worship in the First Congregational Church sanctuary on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (September 5) at 10 a.m.; the congregation will also worship together at the church on Yom Kippur (September 14) at 10 a.m. All other High Holy Day services will be held at Temple Beth David.
“The tremendous welcoming we have felt over the last few months as it became clear the First Congregational Church was going to open their sanctuary to us has been overwhelming," said Rabbi Josh Whinston of Temple Beth David. "The community’s desire to throw open their doors for the Temple Beth David community reminds me of Abraham sitting in his tent waiting for guests to serve. We are eternally grateful to the First Congregational Church for enabling us to understand what it means to worship as one Temple Beth David community.”
“That our Jewish neighbors so yearn to praise the Lord in a united and uniting way that they would willingly seek sanctuary in our house of worship; and that our Christian congregation so yearns to embody Christ’s commandment to love God above all else and our neighbors as ourselves, is as profound and as embodied an expression of our respective faiths and our blended histories as one can imagine," said the Rev. Jeffrey Braun, senior minister of First Congregational Church.
“I share with our senior minister a deep admiration for Temple Beth David's willingness not only to discern their true need for togetherness in worship during their High Holy Days, but to boldly seek a solution that would take them out of their home," the Rev. Alison McCaffrey, associate minister said. "I join with church members and staff in doing all we can to offer the kind of hospitality that receives them with open arms so that they may find an experience of home in our sanctuary.”
More than the use of physical space, both congregations are excited about the developing mood for interfaith programming and dialogue. While the First Congregational Church and Temple Beth David have always enjoyed a harmonious relationship, the communities are looking forward to an expanding interfaith experience in Cheshire.
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