Sixth-grade students at Holy Trinity School visited Temple Emanu-El on Thursday, Nov. 14, as part of religious instruction that teaches them about faiths other than Catholicism.

Rabbi Ethan Prosnit welcomed the students to the Temple, inviting them into the sanctuary, where he showed them the books used in prayer.  Explaining  that books in Hebrew are read from back to front, Rabbi Prosnit told them about the Shema prayer and its significance. 

After reciting it in Hebrew, he had students read it in English. This is one of many ways, the students were reminded, that the Catholic religion traces its origins to Judaism. Rabbi Prosnit also read from the Torah about Abraham, a patriarch in both faiths. The students were very interested to learn that a copy of the Torah was rescued from Europe after World War II. 

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“Misunderstandings happen when people do not take the time to learn about other cultures,” said Dr. Adele Ellis, Principal of Holy Trinity School. In addition to their time at Temple Emanu-El, Holy Trinity students recently visited Westfield’s First United Methodist Church, as part of a religion curriculum that supplements regular instruction in Catholicism with lessons about respecting and honoring other faiths. “Understanding other cultures and religions bring about empathy and caring for all of God’s people,” Dr. Ellis added.

Since 1916, Holy Trinity School has provided a quality Catholic education to Westfield and the surrounding communities. A 2011 National Blue Ribbon and a Middle States accredited school, its mission is to educate students to actualize their full, individual potential, both spiritually and academically. Holy Trinity School is currently accepting students at all grade levels for the 2020-2021 school year, including middle school. Holy Trinity School, preparing our future now.