Different Faiths Come Together in the Poconos

STROUD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- People are coming together after the horrific attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend.

Since Friday night, members of the Jewish faith have invited people of other religions for worship services to help heal.

Members of the Jewish community attended Shabbat services this weekend for the first time since last week's tragedy.

An interfaith service was held at Temple Israel of the Poconos in an effort to bring people of all faiths together in solidarity against hate.

The National Anthem echoed inside the walls of Temple Israel of the Poconos as an interfaith service began.

Members of the temple near Stroudsburg welcomed everyone, regardless of their religion, to the service to bring the community together.

"Our message is for peace and liberty and love for everybody. We are here in memory of the fallen victims of the savage, barbaric act of violence in Pittsburgh last week," said Aftab Khan, Stroudsburg Islamic Center.

"We've been heartbroken since. I can't seem to wrap my head around such evil, and I think that a lot of people couldn't wrap their heads around that evil, and that's why they're here," said Merle Turitz, Temple Israel of the Poconos. "These people don't know us. They don't know us, but look they are coming and supporting us."

"Today we all bear witness to the best in people, to the good of all of us coming together to state united against hatred," said Rabbi Baruch Melman, Temple Israel of the Poconos.

The service included speeches by faith and political leaders from the area. Each brought messages of peace, solidarity, and hopes for moving beyond hate.

"It's not a Jewish event. It's a humanitarian event. It's about humanity. It's about kindness. It's about tolerance, and those seem to be words that we throw around, but today, they ring really true," said Turitz.

Some said the event is healing and helps them feel more connected to their brothers and sisters of other faiths.

"I thought all of the speakers were rather amazing. It was a very touching event. We need more events like this where the community comes together," Mark Lichty of East Stroudsburg said.

Leaders of the Jewish community in Monroe County tell Newswatch 16 they were overwhelmed by the turn out to Saturday's service, but they are not surprised.

They say the willingness of people in the area to come together in solidarity is the kind of support they treasure in their neighborhood.


  • My Left Foot

    I want to find hope in this event , but….The volume of hate speech continues so LOUD……. The daily repetitive lies become commonplace and accepted……… The drain is clogged and the Swamp is overflowing…..History will look back and note these ugly times.

    • Lisa Marshinski

      History can only look back on what they KEEP in the books. And as long as mainstream media (D) keeps giving these criminals and mentally disturbed all the publicity they were craving, these horrific events will continue. Our President is working to put this country back on track to having moral values on faith, family and country that will keep us together, not rip us apart as the last admin. so obviously has succeeded to do and would have only gotten worse if they were allowed to continue on that path.

      • My Left Foot

        Your moral values = cheating on your wives, with porn stars ….. calling women pigs…. dodging the draft and stating POW’s are not war heroes…….. You have a low standard for values.

      • jimbrony

        It’s a wonder that some day when you stretch the truth so far it doesn’t snap and smack you in the face. Cheating on your wives: All unsubstantiated rumors. But Clinton was caught red-handed, your outrage then? Calling women pigs: Not all women, just Rosie O’Donnell. And he’s right, she’s a pig. Draft dodger: Your term for someone medically unable to serve. Him, and millions of other Americans, including Bruce Springsteen and – guess who again – Bill Clinton. POW’s not being war heroes: Again, an exaggeration on your part – DJT specifically targeting alleged traitor and rival John McCain, not all POW’s. You have a low standard for the truth.

    • jimbrony

      And history will note these ugly times as when law and order, decency and morality, and respect and dignity were trying to be restored-but the Babylonians were too used to their lawlessness, slothfulness, and self-centeredness so they started to rebel like a bunch of spoiled children. Kind of reminds me of someone else over 2000 years ago that wanted to change the status quo-and they beat him and hung him on a cross.

      • jimbrony

        In a way I actually feel sorry for FOOT IN MOUTH. I wonder what kind of childhood they had, if they had one at all. What kind of abuse they must of endured to have such hatred for our elected officials and people in authority, to see only the bad in everything. To believe all the lies and rhetoric as though it’s truth. To have every waking moment consumed by someone that lives in their head 24/7, and to not have the sense to realize that in 2024, we’ll elect a different President. Sad, actually.

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