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Jewish / Muslim Christmas: Creating Sacred Allyships

Programming Register Now

December 24, 2021


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Congregation Emanu El


Congregation Emanu El is excited to partner with several Jewish and Muslim institutions and organizations throughout the Houston community for the 12th annual Jewish / Muslim Christmas.

With Christmas Eve falling on Shabbat this year, each of the partner synagogues will host its own simultaneous gathering starting one hour before their respective evening worship is to begin.

The theme of this year’s program is “sacred allyship.” The term was used by Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism during an interfaith rally in New York City following a series of hate-filled incidents in the community. It is meant to encourage people of all faiths to continue to show up for each other in times of danger and vulnerability.

At each venue, light bites will be served prior to small group opportunities which will be facilitated by members of the community. The groups will have a chance to learn about each other before engaging in conversation about ways we can be an ally and how we can commit to a sacred allyship going forward.
Following the program, all participants are invited to join in Shabbat worship.

At Emanu El, the worship will begin at 6:00 p.m. and include a sermon by Rabbi Hayon, titled “Lights in the Darkness.” At the conclusion of service, members of the Muslim community from River Oaks Islamic Center will be able to conduct their evening prayers.

We ask those planning to attend in person for the 5:00 p.m. portion of the program to please RSVP online by visiting our web calendar at emanuelhouston.org or by calling 713.529.5771. No RSVP is needed for the Shabbat worship.

For those unable to attend the Shabbat service at Emanu El, the service will be streamed on the congregation’s website, Facebook, YouTube, and Roku channel.

The Jewish / Muslim Christmas is spearheaded through the combined efforts Emanu El, Beth Israel, HCRJ, the River Oaks Islamic Center, and the Minaret Foundation. Rabbi Steve Gross of HCRJ has been instrumental in the development of the program over the years, which has included Emanu El for the last four editions.