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April 09, 2004 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-09

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Interfaith Seder




any of those attending the
March 25 Interfaith Passover
Celebration at Congregation
Shaarey Zedek had never
been to a seder
before. In fact,
some had never
stepped foot
inside a syna-
But that's part
of the focus —
and the appeal
— of the event.
The group of
Jews and African-
Christians were
members of con-
gregations led by
Rev. Nicholas Hood III nine rabbis and
ministers who
of Plymouth United
have planned col-
Church of Christ
laborative events
addresses the group.
since they trav-
eled together on

a 2002 interfaith clergy mission to Israel and
West Africa.
"Ever since our mission (sponsored by
the Jewish Community Council of
Metropolitan Detroit), we have been work-
ing to bridge the gap between our commu-
nities," said Rabbi Jonathan Berkun of
Shaarey Zedek. "We have hosted various
programs, such as several gospel-klezmer
concerts, pulpit exchanges and a day of
bringing our teens together to volunteer for
Habitat for Humanity."
But, he added, "We have been yearning
to bring our congregations together in a
more intimate setting. We want the individ-
uals in our communities to get to know
each other personally, as we have."
The seder's program, written by Rabbi
Berkun and Rev. Nicholas Hood III of
Plymouth United Church of Christ, proved
the perfect venue.
"Through real and direct relationships,
bonds are formed and communities are
built," Rabbi Berkun said. "The interfaith
seder was a unique opportunity for mem-
bers of nine different synagogues and
churches to sit together at smaller tables.
Each table was encouraged to share ideas,


4/ 9


on page 57

Left: Shaarey Zedek Rabbi
Jonathan Berkun leads the
songs with voice and guitar
as Dr Beujamin Baker of
New Light Baptist Church
listens to the inusic.

Singing a song arm-
in-arm are Debra
Nelson of Oak Park,
Alicia Nelson() -
Southfield an
Beth Baker of
Lathrup VilI.a e.

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