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Come Sing at World InterFaith Harmony Assembly!

by Cantor Paula Pepperstone

[This was originally published in the Jewish Observer (Syracuse, NY) January 2019. This was my third timing preparing and leading the Jewish community's song. ]

You’re invited to sing and/or attend Central New York’s celebration of the United Nations’ annual observance of World InterFaith Harmony Week. The 8th World Interfaith Harmony Assembly will be celebrated locally on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at Southern Missionary Baptist Church

(3143 Midland Ave, Syracuse, NY 13205.) Last year, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas hosted the event that typically attracts more than 400 people. The Jewish community has been participating for several years in this event, sponsored locally by Women Transcending Boundaries and InterFaith Works of Central New York. Rosalie Young, a member of the organizing committee, says of the event, “It’s wonderful to have people of all different races and religions working together to plan an evening in which all the groups explain their traditions.”

This year’s theme, “We Are Family,” will be exemplified by a plurality of faith groups from our area. The Jewish Community will be singing a setting of “Hinei Ma Tov” by Sylvia F. Goldstein and based on the text from Psalm 133. Everyone of all abilities and ages is invited to sing. One rehearsal will be held on Monday, Jan 28 from 6:30pm - 7pm at Temple Concord.

The World InterFaith Harmony Assembly is part of the United Nations' annual

observance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week during the first week of

February, starting in 2011. World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by

the General Assembly in resolution A/RES/65/5 adopted on October 20th, 2010.

In the resolution, the General Assembly, points out that mutual understanding

and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of

peace and establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote

harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

Recognizing the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and

religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among

people, the General Assembly encourages all States to support during that week

the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world's

churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship, on a

voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.

The 8th World Interfaith Harmony Assembly will be Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at Southern Missionary Baptist Church

(3143 Midland Ave, Syracuse, NY 13205.) Vegetarian food and beverages will be served at the reception following the event. For more information, contact Cantor Paula Pepperstone at

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