Jewish family celebrating passover, matzoh jewish holiday bread with kiddush four cup of wine
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In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media.


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WAYLAND – Temple Shir Tikva of Wayland and the Greater Framingham Community Church are staging an unprecedented coming together of their two communities for a Passover Seder centered on the common theme of From Slavery to Freedom Together.

The event takes place during the festival of Passover and on the eve of Easter, making the Seder’s timing significant for all.

The congregations will be joining together to celebrate the holidays, our shared Biblical tradition, and our shared future. The themes of the holiday resonate for everyone as Jews, Christians, and African Americans.

The Seder will be led by Reverend J. Anthony Lloyd from the Greater Framingham Community Church and Rabbi Danny Burkeman and Cantor Hollis Schachner from Temple Shir Tikva. The Seder will be shared via Zoom with prayers and songs from both traditions.

Rabbi Burkeman of Temple Shir Tikva shared “Since the summer Reverend Lloyd and I have been meeting via Zoom on a regular basis, checking in with one another and supporting each other as we serve our respective communities. I have felt deeply blessed by this friendship and the support that I have received from the Reverend for my work as a Rabbi. It’s amazing to reflect on the fact that we’ve spoken so many times and spent so much time together on the screen but are yet to meet in person. There has been a real desire for greater connection and community between the Church and the Synagogue and I am excited for us to take our relationship to the next level as we celebrate a holiday together.”

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He went on to say “Over the last several months there has been so much turmoil and tension in this country, it has been a real source of comfort and solace to have a shared sacred space with our friends from the Greater Framingham Community Church. In the midst of the challenges, we are demonstrating how communities can come together in joy, support, and solidarity with one another.”

Reverend Lloyd of the Greater Framingham Community Church commented “What a great building of a relationship between me and Rabbi Danny. We have over these many months of common COVID-19 experiences forged a bond of friendship, encouragement and
mutual support. It is not a COVID relationship, for our relationship is so much more than the space for which it has developed. The coming together of our congregations, if only through Zoom has cemented relations in a caring and learning environment. One learns so much about yourself, your journey and that of others and their experience when the community of knowing one another is forged from a shared experience of responding to the multiple pandemics of COVID-19, racism, hatred, and anti-Semitism. Bonds developed through confronting the experience of oppression are made and last longer than the season of development. We are excited about what the future holds for our respective communities as well as our joint solidarity with one another. With my friend and brother Rabbi Danny – we make for a great time of doing ministry in trying times and ensuring we lean into what the post COVID world shall look
like. Our commitment is to ensure that we help to create the new normal for our respective communities and our community together.

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The Seder

The themes of the Seder focus on the journey from slavery to freedom and resonate for our respective communities. A special Haggadah has been put together jointly for the occasion. The Jewish community shares the Biblical story of having been slaves in Egypt, while for the African-American community the more recent experience of slavery in the United States resonates. We have selected readings and prayers from both traditions that emphasize the ideas and concepts that we share, recalling the experiences of slavery, celebrating our freedoms of today, and looking forward together to a better future.

The Seder is a call to action to build a just and free society for all, where all people are truly equal, regardless of race or religion, and where everyone lives without fear. Both communities have much in common and to celebrate the past experiences can only strengthen the bonds going forward.

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The Bible Class

In the Fall the two communities offered a class: “Sharing our Bible” that was facilitated by Reverend J. Anthony Lloyd and Rabbi Danny Burkeman for members of the Synagogue and the Church. During the course participants studied passages from the Book of Exodus together, sharing respective interpretations of the text. The success of the course was such that a second opportunity was offered to continue learning together. In the course of these conversations there were discussions about Passover and a desire in the class to celebrate the holiday together.

Temple Shir Tikva is an inclusive, welcoming and growing community, dedicated to making Judaism relevant in the 21 st  century. We aspire to be the heart of Jewish living and practice in MetroWest, a community for deep engagement with Torah and our traditions, for meaningful acts of social justice, and for building strong connections with one another.  The Wayland Temple considers it our responsibility to forge strong partnerships with the local community and our neighbors of other traditions and faiths to help promote friendship, inclusivity, and understanding.

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Greater Framingham Community Church serves communities from Boston\ Cambridge to Worcester with 400 households in membership. The church was started in 1972 by five families desiring a Black religious experience. Today it continues to make its home in Framingham drawing a congregation that comes from African Americans, most countries in the Caribbean and from the continent of Africa, as well as European, and Hispanic communities.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.