On Sunday, May 19th, eight members of TBE drove to the town of Highland Falls and West Point for a very interesting occasion — Shavuot for us and Pentecost for our Episcopal friends at The Church of Holy Innocents. The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, a retired female bishop of Maine, also visited the church, gave a sermon connecting the two holidays and later accompanied us to the Jewish Chapel at West Point.
Following the service, we were treated to a scrumptious catered buffet lunch. Afterwards several church members including our gracious host, Rev. Judith Ferguson, and the bishop joined us as we went over to the Jewish Chapel on post at West Point. Major Harry Garten gave everyone a tour of the chapel and some of the grounds. He spoke at length about some of the Jews who have attended the military academy. We found the view from the fort overlooking the Hudson River and valley below to be just amazing — a religious experience in itself!
Members of Holy Innocents had a great time visiting with our congregation during Sukkot, Gabby’s Bat Mitzvah and another time when Brenda and Gabby participated in the Saturday evening service. They really appreciated our hospitality and the great worship experience at Temple Beth-El.
Our local Episcopal church, Grace Church, 116 City Island Avenue, has historically shown Temple Beth-El an interest in developing a long-lasting interfaith relationship. So, the trip coming up to Holy Innocents and the Jewish Chapel could be considered an outreach trip or pilgrimage.