NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A reverend, a rabbi and a pastor walk into a temple.
It may sound like the beginning of a bad joke — but what happened Sunday night in Ghent was a serious show of support.
Leaders from local churches, organizations and the temple came together for a special service to talk about the recent attacks in Israel.
“Ghent is a village, and when one hurts, we all hurt,” said Rev. Timothy Giddens of Ghent Area Ministry. “We’re here to support our Jewish brothers and sisters and support them,” he said.
The one-hour event featured prayer and a panel discussion. Dozens of neighborhood residents showed up, and extra security was in place to keep everyone safe.
“I feel the support of the non-Jewish community, and I can’t tell you how much we all appreciate it,” said Rabbi Ron Koas. “We have ties with people in Israel, [people] that either were murdered brutally, or were taken hostage, and it is very hard for me to see, especially young kids,” Koas said.
The idea for the event came from Pastor David McBride, whose church is right across the street from Congregation Beth El.
“I said, ‘We got to something, and I don’t know what to do, but maybe we can at least pray, maybe we can just stand with our brothers and sisters,'” he said.
“I don’t have a big plan, but we can just be there for one another, be a presence of comfort,” McBride said.
Hope Horne has been going to Congregation Beth El since she was a little girl.
“I’m here today to support my community and the loss that we’ve been enduring on both sides of this war,” she said. “All our kids are seeing here, in America, is constant bombing, so what does that do? Send a message of genocide. The message has to be that we have to end hate.”
Another message that event organizers hope to spread is one that will be familiar to Christians and Jews alike.
“Let’s remember our neighbors in today’s time,” McBride said.
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