I would like to commend the Stamford Jewish community for working together to create a beautiful, unified Shabbat Across America event, the creation of which was dramatically described by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman in his March 13 op-ed column, “A Shabbat Across the Bow.”
The Stamford community, which uniquely gathered all the religious denominations together under one roof, was one of several communities that participated this year in NJOP’s new CommUNITY Shabbat Across America and Canada initiative. The other communities were in Staten Island, West Hartford, Conn., and Winnipeg, Canada. These special programs were only a small fraction of NJOP’s recently concluded campaign, which featured over 40,000 participants at 565 partner locations throughout all 50 states (an NJOP first) and Washington D.C., six Canadian provinces, and abroad in four other countries. We also note that this year we welcomed our one-millionth Shabbat Across America and Canada participant experience.
Rabbi Hammerman deftly described the challenges faced when making sensitive, value-based, decisions that attempt to take everyone’s individual practices and religious standards into consideration, which can only succeed when one recognizes the overarching virtue of Jewish unity.
Now is the time to start imagining what a CommUNITY program could do to foster unity in your locale.
Founder and Director, NJOP Manhattan