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Students Light the Way for Interfaith Dialogue

Jan 5, 2016 | Fine Arts, Have Fun, Impact, Middle School News, Multiplier

Epstein3 (1)Jewish and Christian communities joyfully celebrated their traditions together this past holiday season. Students in grade 5 chorus from Mount Vernon Presbyterian School visited grade 4 chorus at The Epstein School on Tuesday, December 16 to share traditions in song and discuss what makes their respective holidays similar and unique.
Each chorus took turns performing for each other and asked questions inspired by the songs they heard. After sharing their music, the students broke into small groups to talk about their traditions while learning the beliefs of the other culture through the eyes of a peer.
Finally, the groups came together to sing Jewish and Christian songs that they had prepared as a united group.
The directors and staff were inspired by the students’ ability to ask intelligent and poignant questions, respect each other’s beliefs, and share through music. “I think we have a lot to learn from these students when it comes to learning about other faiths in a genuine way,” said Matthew Neylon, chorus teacher and Director of Visual & Performing Arts at Mount Vernon. “We are so thankful that you came to share your culture and look forward to continuing this partnership”, said Laura Levine, chorus and prayer teacher from The Epstein School.
In a very busy season of events, activities, and performances, both schools took a moment to reflect and celebrate tradition, appreciate and respect different backgrounds, and build connections between faiths.
Whether they find themselves lighting a menorah or lights on a Christmas Tree, these fourth and fifth grade students have a bright future as they learn to celebrate joy, hope and love, together.
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