A Shabbat of Solidarity

Our Solidarity Shabbat on Friday, November 2nd was attended by guests overflowing into the foyer adding to the meaningful experience. The voices of the community blended during our prayer service that resonated to new heights within our walls. The purpose of this Shabbat service was to stand in solidarity with the members of The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and to remember “Kristallnacht” The Night of Broken Glass that occurred 80 years ago.

The service was put together at the very last minute with a team consisting of Jasha Levenson, Pat Myers and Paul McVinney. Jasha and Pat developed and lead services. Paul arranged for publicity and security that has become a necessary standard. Lt. Schmidt and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office made us feel safe and protected during this vulnerable time. Knowing they were at the front door allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the service. The service began with Rachel Solomon singing a stirring rendition of Etz Chayim translated to The Tree of Life (the name of the synagogue in Pittsburgh) followed by readings from Jasha and Pat, Ellen’s sharing her experience as a child during Kristallnacht and a musical duet with Jasha on guitar and Dan Katz on mandolin. Thank you for your roles in this touching service.

The service was attended by clergy of all faiths, council members and the community. You could have done anything on a rainy Friday night but you chose to come out because you believe standing up against hatred is important. We all have to stand up against hatred to sustain a strong community. Shabbat Shalom,

Elaine McVinney
President of Congregation Sha’are Shalom