East Midwood Jewish Center on News 12 Brooklyn: 16th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Did you catch Cantor Sam Levine and Sally Hipscher on News12 Brooklyn?

The Interfaith Committee of the East Midwood Jewish Center and Our Lady of Refuge Roman Catholic Parish held its 16th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 20 at 4:00 pm at Our Lady of Refuge Church. Check out video footage of the service by clicking on the image below.


The service consisted of responsive readings of prayers from the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Native American and other faiths; performances by choirs from the Brooklyn Amity School, Our Lady of Refuge, and East Midwood. Welcoming and closing statements were made by Father Michael Perry of Our Lady of Refuge and Rabbi Matt Carl of East Midwood.  The event concluded with everyone joining hands to sing “This Land is Your Land.”  Also participating were members of Episcopal Church of the Nativity, the Turkish Cultural Center and American Council of Minority Women.

The Interfaith Committee was founded in the late 1990s by Father Andrew Struzzieri, former pastor of the Our Lady of Refuge, and Rabbi Alvin Kass, Rabbi Emeritus of East Midwood. Since then we have joined together in trips, discussions, concerts, blood drives, food collections and other events to educate each other about our respective cultures and faith traditions.

Father Michael Perry, who has been at OLR for 14 years, said, “When I tell my friends from other cities here and in Europe about our Interfaith program they are literally astounded. They think I am exaggerating, because what we do is almost unheard of in many places and would be illegal in some parts of the world. In our group we are living out a unity that not only respects differences, but honors them.”

Members of East Midwood attended the annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadelupe at OLR, and members of the church and the Muslim groups attend East Midwood’s celebrations of Purim and Simchat Torah.  During this past June, East Midwood hosted an Iftar dinner after Ramadan, and a similar event will be held at OLR in 2017. There will also be an interfaith seder at EMJC on March 26, 2017.

For more information on the Interfaith committee, email office@emjc.org