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Interfaith Celebration Casts Its Glow on Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. – It was an evening of firsts at Thursday's interfaith tree and menorah lighting for the two young Greenwich clergymen.

“I wish I could find more time to study more about Christianity with our neighbors here,” said Assistant Rabbi David Saiger, who started at Temple Sholom in July after finishing the seminary in May in New York City.

The Rev. Dane Boston began at Christ Church Greenwich during the summer as well. “It’s a remarkable thing. It’s physical. We share a parking lot, but it’s more than that, it’s more than just proximity,” he said.

During the Fellowship of Clergy meeting earlier in the day, Saiger and Boston said everyone shared holiday stories. “It’s important, in general, because more understanding will lead to more peace and well-being around the world,” said Saiger. “Around the holiday time, a lot of families are interfaith in all different ways, and events like this build a model for understanding that families can emulate.”

The two sang songs of their own holiday traditions alongside Cantor Asa Fradkin at the annual “Community Celebration of Light” sponsored by the Sholom Center. Rabbi Mitch Hurvitz and the Rev. James Lemler established the center a year ago as a way to brand the ongoing interfaith relationship between Temple Sholom and Christ Church Greenwich.

In addition to comparing their parallel stories – Boston and Saiger are both in their 20s and their wives are both graduate students – the men stressed the importance of the partnership.

“We see the history of a lack of understanding, of violence — and this partnership and this strong, close relationship counteract that,” said Boston. “That was the past, it is part of our heritage, but this is our reality, this is our now and it’s one of friendship and partnership.”

Added Saiger, “It’s a great connection."

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