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Liturgy students visit Dublin synagogue and mosque
Added on Tuesday 4th June 2013

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As part of the Liturgy Module, full–time and part–time students at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute had unique opportunities this academic year to engage in inter–faith issues, with visits to both a synagogue and a mosque.

The part–time students were warmly welcomed at a Friday evening service in the Progressive Jewish Synagogue in Rathgar, by Mrs Hilary Abrahamson, the Community President.

After the Friday evening service, the students were the guests of the congregation at a reception and heard the stories of a Dublin community that is sometimes described as a “minority within a minority.”

Since its foundation in 1946 by members of the Irish Jewish Community, the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation has built a congregation based on values of inclusivity and the practice of Liberal Judaism.

After the service, the students were also invited by the evening’s preacher, Mr Yankee Faschler, to see the scrolls and other sacred treasures in the synagogue. Mrs Abrahamson told students that services are held in synagogue in Rathgar every Erev Shabbat, on High Holy Days and the Festivals, and on many Shabbat mornings. Frequent family services are also held in the synagogue as are special events marking key milestones in Jewish life – births, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Kabbalat Torah, weddings and anniversaries. Cheder is held on Sunday mornings during school term for the children of members.

The full–time students visited the mosque at the Irish Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, where they were the guests of the resident theologian, Dr Ali Selim, who happily fielded questions that were both open and honest,

“These have been unique and generous opportunities to hear the stories of two other monotheistic traditions,” said the module leader, Canon Patrick Comerford.

He added: “We experienced their understanding of ‘sacred space’ and public prayer, and were welcomed as friends into the very heart of the sacred experiences of communities that have become valued friends of the Church of Ireland and of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.”


Our photographs show students visiting the Rathgar synagogue of the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation and with Dr Ali Selim in the mosque at the Irish Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh.


Photographs: Patrick Comerford.