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Temple B’nai Israel in Laconia takes pride in having an open-door policy that allows for sharing its Jewish practices, customs, and history with the Lakes Region community.  Most recently confirmation students from the Gilford Community Church were invited to attend a Friday night Shabbat service on January 13.  The group even stood next to the sacred open Torah scroll when it was taken out of the Holy Ark and listened to Rabbi Jan Katz connect the ancient past to contemporary history in her sermon as she compared the trials of both Moses and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:  “…both ventures, that of the Jews and that of King’s followers, are a long work in progress, and not to be compared in their uniqueness and intensity, albeit there is enough antisemitism and racism to fill up the spaces in which we exist together.”  Rabbi Katz’s words left a lasting impression on the students which was expressed in a thank you note sent by one of the parents, “This really resonated with them.  A new perspective – what a gift” was written by a parent who had also attended a Friday night Shabbat service at TBI as a confirmation student, about 20 years before her son did.  She remarked in her note that one difference from her own experience was the need for heightened security measures, “This struck a chord in me, how I 100% have taken for granted we gather for worship without a single thought to our safety.  This is a sobering realization and profoundly saddening.”  She concluded her note of thanks to convey that her son “has had many ‘ah-ha’ moments to share about his time with you, and for that, I am so grateful.  This confirmation process is so meaningful.  Thank you for opening your doors to your religion, culture, and community.” 

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