Local News

Jews Spend Day of Atonement in Church

Posted October 11, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Saturday marked Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews. But with the Triangle's Jewish population skyrocketing, there just isn't enough room at Temple Beth Or for everyone to worship. On this Day of Atonement, Beth Or's membership spent the high holiday in another congregation's church.

Like the rest of the Triangle, the Jewish community is growing and many congregations are finding it a tight fit. That's why Temple Beth Or is holding their service at White Memorial Presbyterian Church.

"The Jewish community here is growing faster proportionately than almost any jewish community in the United States," explains Rabbi Lucy Dinner."

Dinner says the growth can be attributed to more people moving into the area and more people finding religion. She believes that as people move to the area, they are searching for roots and community, and naturally find that in a congregation.

"I think it's wonderful showing of solidarity from everyone living in the Raleigh," says Ilene Nelson. "It also means that we have a place to sit without sitting on top of each other."

The church says no problem. It's glad to help. Rick White of the White Memorial Presbyterian Church says the church is just being good neighbors. When Temple Beth Or asked to use the church, White and the congregation was happy to oblige.

People who attended Saturday's services felt that warmth.

"I had reservations thinking, 'how is it going to be coming to this church,'" admits Debbie Rothstein. "But when I got here and sat updstars, and I was able to see the whole congregation and the Rabbi. I looked around and saw no signs of any religion except Judaism. I felt so welcome."

Temple Beth Or is building a new sanctuary. It will be completed in two years.