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Wantagh Synagogue to Host Interfaith Service in Honor of Former Community Member

Area residents of various faiths will worship under one roof Friday evening at Temple B'nai Torah.

After losing a valuable member of the community, clergy at in Wantagh wanted to do something special in her honor. 

Joyce Berger practiced her faith at Temple B'nai Torah for several years before she passed. Her husband, along with Rabbi Marci Bellows, decided last year that an interfaith service would be the perfect way to honor her memory.

"We were given donations to start a program in her memory," explained Bellows. "Her husband and I got to talking and he suggested that interfaith learning would be really special to her, so we decided to start a Shabbat that honors interfaith relations."

The program commenced last April, and according to Bellows, it was a huge success. Leaders from the Islamic Center of Long Island joined Bellows and her Temple B'nai Torah community to speak regarding the Muslim and Jewish religions. 

"We kicked off the program with the Ahmeds, a muslim couple who lead the center," Rabbi Bellows said. "It was a wonderful way to start and it was a really important event for everyone involved, especially with all that's going on in our political and religious climate."

For this year's event, Temple B'nai Torah has invited three members of the Wantagh Interfaith Clergy to lead the Shabbat worship and host a discussion on how God intervenes in daily life and what that means to each faith and their traditions.

This year's guests will be Father Christopher Hofer of in Wantagh as well as Pastor Ron Garner and Reverend Maurene O'Hagan of . 

"There's been a lot of excitement about this year's service," Bellows said. "We found the first service to be thought provoking and important. We're so appreciative that this program has been put together."

The interfaith service in Berger's honor will take place Friday night, March 30 at Temple B'nai Torah on 2900 Jerusalem Ave. starting at 8 p.m. All are welcome.

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