Interfaith Prayer Service in Solidarity with Ukraine Held in Downtown White Plains
By Stephen E. Lipken
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Westchester/Fairfield Regional Office; Westchester Jewish Council (WJC) and Westchester Human Rights Commission hosted a multi-faith Community of Conscience prayer ceremony in solidarity with Ukraine at the Outdoor Plaza, 111 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., White Plains on Friday, March 18, 2022.
Reverend Doris Dalton, Chair, Westchester County Human Rights Commission, called upon Stu Seltzer to open the Prayer Service with a dramatic wakeup call of the Shofar.
A broad range of denominations was represented with clergy including Father Kiril Angelov, St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church; Arun Bhagirath, Hindu Temple of the Tri-States; Rev. Erwin Trollinger, Calvary Baptist Church; Bill Darger, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Westchester Stake; Elder Deborah Milcarek, Hudson River Presbytery; Pastor Tim Dalton, First Baptist Church of White Plains; Fr. Patrick Nsionu, Parochial Vicar, Holy Family Parish (Catholic), New Rochelle; Rev. Karen Burger, Mamaroneck United Methodist Church and Rev. Stephen Holton, Episcopal Diocese of New York.
Father Nsionu handed out a “One Minute” Prayer for Peace in the Ukraine, reading in part, “Today we are adding our own weapon, A PRAYER of PEACE in UKRAINE…
“As we gather and stand here in White Plains today on Martin Luther King’s Junior Blvd., we remind ourselves of one of his powerful sayings, ‘We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools…’”
The Jewish faith was represented by Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Westchester Reform Temple, who noted that on his KLM flight from Poland with 18 Rabbis, the pilot announced a delay in order to seat Ukrainian refugees on their way to Holland. “That was the first time that airline passengers cheered a delay,” Blake smiled.
Rabbi Annie Tucker, Temple Israel Center, White Plains, sang Oseh Shalom Bim-ra-mov, “May He Who Creates Peace on High, bring Peace to us and all Israel.”
“With the unity, certainly here in the United States, between people of all different faiths, all different cultural backgrounds, we see that the people in Ukraine, like us, want their freedom. They want their independence, and it is being crushed by a very brutal oppression,” County Executive George Latimer observed. “We share our common concern and donate to humanitarian relief and hope that somehow it can make things right.”