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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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events

Hundreds Unite In Harmony For Washington Township Interfaith Service

Imam Moutaz Charaf, left, with Rabbi Noah Fabricant, far right, and a participant of the Temple Beth Or Interfaith Service.
Imam Moutaz Charaf, left, with Rabbi Noah Fabricant, far right, and a participant of the Temple Beth Or Interfaith Service. Photo Credit: Antony Morales
Guests mingle at the TBO unity service.
Guests mingle at the TBO unity service. Photo Credit: Antony Morales
Clergy at the TBO interfaith service.
Clergy at the TBO interfaith service. Photo Credit: Antony Morales
Temple Beth Or's Rabbi Noah Fabricant invited the community to an Interfaith Service in Washington Township.
Temple Beth Or's Rabbi Noah Fabricant invited the community to an Interfaith Service in Washington Township. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Hundreds of people celebrated 'in harmony' on Sunday evening.
Hundreds of people celebrated 'in harmony' on Sunday evening. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Guests rise during the service.
Guests rise during the service. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Rev. Larissa Romano of Pascack Reformed Church in Park Ridge joined with Mahmoud Hamza of Muslim Society of Ridgewood and Rabbi David Klutzier of Temple Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake at the Washington Interfaith service.
Rev. Larissa Romano of Pascack Reformed Church in Park Ridge joined with Mahmoud Hamza of Muslim Society of Ridgewood and Rabbi David Klutzier of Temple Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake at the Washington Interfaith service. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Nearly 400 people from Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities throughout Bergen County sang, prayed and held moments of silence together at an interfaith service at Temple Beth Or in Washington Township on Sunday evening.

Some participants wore a gold cross around their neck, others a turban and several a yarmulka. All united in solidarity to spread awareness that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all religions of peace.

"A gathering like this may not end religious hatred, but I know that it brought us closer," Fabricant told Daily Voice. "People were uplifted and comforted. My community needed to say 'we welcome you, we stand with you.'"

The 7 p.m. gathering on the last night of Hanukkah organized by Fabricant last week (SEE: Washington Township Rabbi Unites Religious Communities In Solidarity ).

Guests reminded the audience through hymns and speeches that living in pervasive fear can be overcome by focusing on kinship and unity.

"It was a small step in the right direction," said Imam Moutaz Charaf, of the Elzahra Islamic Center in Midland Park.

"It's becoming a challenging time for all leaders and American people [living in] fear and hearing unfortunate things from politicians," he said. "People also need to hear the voice of reason, love,  peace to stand against discrimination and hatred."

"What a wonderful way to end Hanukkah with respect, love and hope," Pam Schuller of Union for Reform Judaism, who was accompanied by 15 teenagers from the North American Federation of Temple Youth program.

The crowd sang along to "Let There Be Peace On Earth" after Fabricant delivered the closing thoughts.

"It’s very nice to see people of different faiths… get to know each other, read scriptures together and listen to each other," Charaf told Daily Voice. "After all, we all worship the same god."

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