Temple Shaaray Tefila Day of Service
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Our Day of Service on Sunday, November 20 was a day to remember. 

Volunteers of all ages and diverse backgrounds and from all over the city braved the cold and came together to assist those who are coming to NYC to seek asylum. We put together food packets and personal hygiene kits, sorted mountains of donated clothing, and made welcome cards for those just arriving in our city. 

We held a moving Service of Thanksgiving with Shaaray Tefila’s clergy and members of clergy from a variety of denominations from around the city, and representatives from our social justice organizational partners. Each offered their prayers, hopes for the future, and words of thanks. Our choirs, Kol Rinnah, Shir Leadership, and School of Rock all performed, with members of the junior choir at St. Ignatius Loyola joining together with School of Rock. 

Participating clergy from around the city:

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, Temple Shaaray Tefila
Rabbi Jill Rubin, Temple Shaaray Tefila
Cantor Todd Kipnis, Temple Shaaray Tefila
Cantorial Intern Ella Gladstone Martin, Temple Shaaray Tefila
Father Dennis Yesalonia, St. Ignatius Loyola
Reverend Donald Baker, Church of St. Monica
Reverend Anne Maria Witchger, Church of Heavenly Rest
Imam Omar Niass, Masjid Ansaru-Deen Islamic House of Worship
Father Tomasito McNamarra & Maria Roman, Our Lady of Sorrows
Father Kevin Madigan, Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel-St. Thomas More
Father John Lubiv, St. George’s Ukranian Church

Representatives from our Social Justice Partners:

Ray Lopez and Trish Gough, Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service
Joanne Kennedy, Catholic Worker 

We also welcomed Ilze Thielmann, Director of Team TLC-NYC and Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine who spoke about the current situation confronting asylum seekers arriving and living in New York City, and the city’s response to the situation. We also heard from Power Malu of Artists-Atheletes-Activists, and Adama Bah, who have been on the ground greeting asylum seekers as they arrive at Port Authority. The talk was moderated by Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service (AJWS). Watch below. 

Thank you to all of our hard working volunteers who joined us, our honored guests, and especially to our social justice leaders, our staff, and clergy who worked tirelessly to organize this amazing day of mitzvah.