SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains announced today that it will host the annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Monday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at its new building at 1925 Lake Ave., Scotch Plains.
The interfaith service is open to all members of the community. It is sponsored by the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ministerium, a group of local faith leaders, town mayors, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School Superintendent and the heads of several non-profit organizations. The current Ministerium president is Cantor Matt Axelrod of Congregation Beth Israel.
The service features music, readings and prayer to bring the community together in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
A highlight of the event is the musical program presented by the combined choir. Cantor Axelrod will lead singers from Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Sholom, Willow Grove Presbyterian Church, Fanwood Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, St. Bartholomew the Apostle and Scotch Plains Baptist Church in a series of meaningful melodies.
Each year, a different house of worship hosts the service. This year, Temple Sholom will welcome the community to its new 8,900 sq. ft. home that features green elements such as Scotch Plains’ first low-runoff permeable paved parking lot and a roof that is ready for solar panel installation. The building also boasts an audio induction loop to help hearing-impaired individuals listen to the services and a playroom to accommodate young children. Congregants and visitors can enjoy the view of the surrounding woods and stream from the many large windows throughout the building.
“The combined choir is always a favorite part of the service,” said Cantor Axelrod. “Members of the various faith communities in town love getting together to sing as one. To me, this is the perfect way to bring in the holiday of Thanksgiving. It helps demonstrate how fortunate we are to live in such a warm and inclusive community."
The evening also features the donation of funds raised by the community CropWalk. Some of the money is directed toward international hunger relief efforts while some of it returns to the local community via The Denitzio Fund which provides aid to those in need.
"While we shared space with the Fanwood Presbyterian Church, we often shared hosting duties, but we could not wait to open our doors to the community from our own home,” said Rabbi Joel Abraham of Temple Sholom. “Temple Sholom is committed to being a strong partner in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood community, working together to help all of those in need in Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Union County and beyond. A core value of Reform Judaism is that we are called to work with others to engage in tikkun olam - fixing the world. Thanksgiving is a time when Americans of all faiths, whether members of religious organizations or not, can come together. We all have something for which to give thanks and the best way to show gratitude is to extend what we have to others."
The Ministerium invites all community members to attend the service at no charge. Light refreshments will be served. For additional information, call Temple Sholom at 908-889-4900.
About Temple Sholom
Founded in 1913, Temple Sholom is a Reform Jewish congregation led by Rabbi Joel N. Abraham and Cantor Darcie Sharlein. The temple and its religious school are home to about 250 families from the greater Scotch Plains-Fanwood area. The congregation recently moved to its new home at 1925 Lake Ave. in Scotch Plains. Temple Sholom is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism. For more information about the Temple or joining the congregation, please call 908-889-4900, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sholomnj.org.