Newly-merged Easton synagogues celebrate Hanukkah together for 1st time

Written by on November 29, 2021

Newly-merged Easton synagogues celebrate Hanukkah together for 1st time

By Megan Frank
November 29, 2021

Hanukkah or the “Festival of Lights” began on Sunday night.

The eight-day Jewish holiday is celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, prayers and special foods. 

Listen to the story.

This year, one Easton congregation has some new faces. That’s because Temple Covenant of Peace and Bnai Abraham merged over the summer. 

The two synagogues had experienced dwindling attendance. So, together, they formed Congregation Bnai Shalom, which now has about 140 members.

Rabbi Melody Davis has worked with both synagogues over the last couple of years. She says this is the first time they’ll celebrate Hanukkah together. 

“We merged a reform congregation with a conservative congregation,” she said. “These are two different denominations within the Jewish faith. Coming together in prayer was surprisingly comfortable, I think, for most people.”

The merger has had its challenges. Some members of Temple Covenant of Peace were sad to change buildings.  But ultimately, Davis says the move allows both groups to thrive.  

She says her message to the newly-formed congregation is to remember to find joy.

“My prayer is that we see more and more light as we go forth into this dark time of year, and that we celebrate every joy that comes our way,” the rabbi said.

Congregation Bnai Shalom says it will host a Hanukkah service to welcome all new members on Friday, Dec. 3.  But, they’re not hosting a Hanukkah dinner due to the pandemic.

All Friday and Saturday Shabbat services are available in-person and streamed live on YouTube.

Hanukkah runs through Dec. 6.

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