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Yorktown Synagogue Eternally Grateful for ‘Miracle’ From Neighboring Church

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Hanukkah is the time when Jews around the world celebrate a miracle – the miracle that one day’s supply of oil lit the menorah of the Temple in Jerusalem for eight days, in celebration of the rededication of the Temple after it was reclaimed by the Maccabees from the Greeks.

On Friday, Dec. 16, Temple Beth Am of Yorktown celebrated the miracle of Hanukkah with more than 50 people in attendance.

Another miracle took place that night, one especially meaningful during this broader holiday season. We unfortunately live in times of rampant anti-Semitism, forcing synagogues to be ever-conscious of safety and security, especially for Beth Am’s well-attended Hanukkah service.

Among those at our service were a group of perhaps eight to 10 people gathered outside of the temple, who remained there during the service. As a show of solidarity and support, Rev. Chip Low, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, organized a group of his congregants to stand guard outside our temple, their presence acting as a visible deterrent to any potential wrongdoers, affording us an additional measure of security.

Their act of kindness and generosity was a complete surprise to us; we only learned of their plans to come to the temple that afternoon. It represents the very best that our community has to offer, showing that the common values of our unique faiths far outweigh the differences. In this day and age, that itself is a miracle.

On behalf of the entire congregation of Temple Beth Am, I want to thank Rev. Low and the First Presbyterian Church for their caring and support. I fervently hope that we can make such acts everyday occurrences, rather than a one-day miracle.

Best wishes to all for the holidays and upcoming new year.

Aaron Bock
President, Temple Beth Am
Yorktown Heights

P.S.  There’s still time to contribute this year’s Yom Kippur Appeal. See the website for more information. Thanks.

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