Crossing bridges, building bridges

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The Jewish Congregation Or Chadash, meaning New Light, comprised of former members of Temple Am David in Warwick have a new home in the Episcopal Trinity Church in Pawtuxet. On Sunday afternoon members of the congregation carried three Torahs that had been bought at the auction of the former temple furniture and holy items. Also joining in the procession was the Right Rev. W. Nicholas Knisley, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island and parishioners of Trinity Episcopal Church in Pawtuxet. Following sale of the Warwick temple to the Rhode Island Hindu Temple Society to make for the state’s first Hindu temple, about 30 Jews were welcomed to continue using the building until they found a new location. In a conversation, Mayor Scott Avedisian, senior warden at Trinity, learned from Beth Veltri that the congregation was looking for a permanent home. Aware of available space at the church, Avedisian suggested they consider that. Veltri, who is president of the congregation and a delegation, visited the church, agreeing a room that had once housed a child daycare would be ideal. Avedisian conferred with church parishioners and the priest in charge, Rev. Mitch Lindeman. The response was unanimous, the congregation was welcomed with open arms. On Sunday, about 70 people gathered in the parking lot of the former Bank Café on the Warwick side of the Pawtuxet River to make the walk to Trinity Church in Cranston. Following the blowing of the shofar or ram’s horn, the torahs under the shade of a chuppah, a white canopy, held high were carried across the village bridge, past families eating ice cream at Dear Hearts Ice Cream and sitting outside Revolution restaurant and lounge on Board Street and north to Ocean Avenue. Once at their new home, or synagogue, Murray Geberoff conducted a service in Hebrew and English with a reading from one of the Torahs followed by the placing of the holy scrolls in an ark mounted on the wall. Bishop. (Text and photos by John Howell)

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