Syrian refugee to speak at synagogue’s Oct. 18 service

Jewish gospel musician Beth Styles
Jewish gospel musician Beth Styles performs at Congregation Shir Shalom’s Friday, Oct. 18, sabbath service

Syrian Refugee to Speak at Synagogue’s Oct. 18 Service

Jewish Musician Beth Styles and ‘Pizza in the Hut’ Sukkot Celebration Also on Program

A refugee from Syria is the guest speaker Friday, Oct. 18, at the Sabbath service of Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Also scheduled is live music performed by refugees and immigrants.

The special service, known as “Welcome the Stranger” Shabbat, says Rabbi David Reiner, “is in partnership with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the North American Immigrant Justice Campaign sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.”

It will include music and prayers written by refugees and personal accounts from congregants, as well as prayers and reflections written by Shir Shalom’s religious school students as they learned about refugees. 

The Shabbat program, from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m., includes a separate music performance by composer and singer Beth Styles, whose music is “a soulful mix of Jewish gospel with deeply spiritual and lush melodies,” says Cantor Debbie Katchko-Gray. Ms. Styles, who is founder and music director of inspirational choir New World Chorus in Stamford, is producing a new CD of Jewish music.

To top off the evening, there is “Pizza in the Hut,” the temple’s annual Sukkot program for congregants of all ages. In addition to the food of choice, it features crafts activities.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society “works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.”

The Religious Action Center’s Immigrant Justice Campaign “seeks to promote permanent protection, dignity and respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the USA.”

For more information: info@ourshirshalom.org; (203) 438-6589.