LIGHT! An interfaith evening to be held in Westborough

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“The Hanukkah menorah is a symbol of hope and light.” (Photo/submitted)
“The Hanukkah menorah is a symbol of hope and light.” (Photo/submitted)

Westborough – The goal of LIGHT!, a collaborative interfaith event, is to build genuine links of connection among people from diverse backgrounds. Westborough’s Congregation B’nai Shalom will host this event Saturday, Dec. 16 from 7-9:30 p.m. at its 117 E Main St., Westborough location.

“This gathering will enable people from local towns to encounter each other, hear each other’s stories, and learn something about each other’s traditions,” B’nai Shalom’s Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz said. “Here in Central Mass. the diversity of ethnic and faith backgrounds is incredibly rich.”

LIGHT! is being held during Hanukkah – the Jewish “Festival of Lights”.

“The Hanukkah menorah is a symbol of hope and light in times of darkness,” explained Rabbi Gurevitz.

The evening will begin with a one-hour interfaith concert, with contributions from the Hindu, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Cantorial soloists at Congregation B’nai Shalom, Lisa Marcus Jones and Sharon Brown Goldstein, have worked on the celebratory part of the evening. This has been a continuation of their efforts from last year’s ‘Concert of Kindness,’ which raised funds for the Anti-Defamation League.

“We have created a space where we can learn about each other’s faith traditions, values, and ethnic backgrounds in a format where neighbor can meet neighbor,” explained Rabbi Gurevitz.

Following the concert, LIGHT! will provide an opportunity to share in facilitated conversation circles. Rabbi Gurevitz experienced this kind of interfaith community building in Bridgeport, Conn., where she previously lived. There, she was a founder of the “Tent of Abraham,” which used a similar format to bring together Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Rabbi Gurevitz has created a broad coalition of partners by reaching out to a variety of faith organizations, groups, and individuals that she has met over the past few years. These partners include:

  • Trinity Church of Northborough
  • Chinmaya Mission Metro-West
  • Islamic Society of Greater Worcester
  • The Congregational Church of Westborough
  • Mark’s Episcopal Church Southborough
  • Neighbors for Peace Southborough
  • Universalist Unitarian Congregational Society of Westborough
  • Sikh Study Circle of New England,
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Westborough
  • United Parish of Upton

Representatives from each of these communities will help facilitate conversations during the event.

LIGHT! is free of charge, but RSVPs on the congregation’s website are appreciated to help in the planning of the evening at www.cbnaishalom.org/light-an-evening-of-interfaith-celebration. Light refreshments will be served.