At the multi-faith listening session were, from left, Shaykh Hossam Musa, The Rev. Eric Miller, Jerry Springer, Rabbi Sandford Kopnick, and Pastor Jason Hentschel.

At the multi-faith listening session were, from left, Shaykh Hossam Musa, The Rev. Eric Miller, Jerry Springer, Rabbi Sandford Kopnick, and Pastor Jason Hentschel.

 

Jerry Springer returned to Cincinnati on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, to moderate a discussion among members of St James of the Valley Catholic Church, Wyoming Baptist Church, Ascension and Holy Trinity Church of Wyoming, The Islamic Center of Cincinnati, and The Valley Temple.

The evening developed out of a year-long listening campaign conducted by the Valley Temple Tikkun Olam Committee. These listening sessions gave Temple members a chance to air the issues that are “keeping them up at night.” 

Rabbinic Student Alicia Harris, who now works with the Jewish Community Relations Council, began the program while she was a Jewish Foundation rabbinic fellow serving at Valley. One of the common themes of the listening sessions has been a concern for mutual respect and neighborliness during difficult times. 

Rabbi Sandford Kopnick has been meeting with Wyoming clergy since April, and has helped organize a Wyoming multi-faith Thanksgiving service for later this month. During one of the clergy meetings, Rabbi Kopnick raised this idea of a joint listening session. Once the churches were on board, he asked long-time Valley Temple member Jerry Springer to serve as moderator.

The evening was attended by more than 70 participants, and the clergy from the churches, Valley Temple, and the Islamic Center. Springer helped put various ideas into perspective and served as moderator in an effort to promote listening and understanding. The evening was intended to refrain from political banter and partisan politics. Some participants noted that even greater diversity should be a goal of a follow-up session, but most voiced encouragement that the program was a good start.

The Valley Temple will host a Wyoming Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22. The spiritual leaders of five Wyoming houses of worship and the Wyoming High School Chorale will participate. A donation of a canned good for the Valley Interfaith Food and Clothing Center is encouraged.

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