“…Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18)
Temple Aliyah and St. Bernardine of Siena Church are neighbors. We are geographically located next to one another. Beginning approximately ten years ago with a program about Dan Brown’s book The DaVinci Code, our relationship has grown to one of deep respect and friendship. The friendship between Rabbi Vogel and Monsignor McNamara has come to symbolize the relationship between our communities. Since 2005 we have held an annual pulpit exchange during which Rabbi Vogel speaks at Sunday mass and Monsignor McNamara speaks at a Friday evening Shabbat service. Both communities attend these services and greet one another as friends. Also beginning in 2005 we have held a Thanksgiving interfaith program often including the choirs from both communities joining together in song.
Most years we have held interfaith dialogue programs as well. In recent years we have been joined by our new friends from the Mohammedi Center for programs including, an annual program of harvesting fruit, which is donated to local food pantries, as well as sandwich making on Mitzvah Day, which benefit those in the greater community who suffer from chronic hunger.
These programs have been recognized by the Los Angeles City Council, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Pacific Southwest Region, and the Valley Interfaith Council. Our interfaith efforts have also been recognized by Congressman Brad Sherman with the presentation of a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.
Our annual inter-religious programs include: