Thanksgiving Service To Welcome People Of All Faiths

November 19, 2018

WILKES-BARRE — People of all faiths are invited to gather Tuesday night for an annual Thanksgiving service hosted by the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council.

The yearly service rotates locations and this year’s host is Temple Israel at 239 S. River St. in Wilkes-Barre.

Leaders from various religious denominations will offer prayers. The interfaith council includes members of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, New Thought Christian, Quaker, Hindu, Muslim and Baha’i faith traditions.

Temple Israel Rabbi Larry Kaplan, treasurer of the interfaith council, said the event will be a chance to continue the solidarity the area displayed following the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Hundreds packed the Jewish Community Center in Wilkes-Barre for a vigil following the shooting.

“It’s not only continuing the solidarity, but it’s an opportunity to think about the things we have to be thankful for,” Kaplan said.

Guest speaker will be Irandokht Fahmy of Dallas, who immigrated to the United States from Iran in 1957.

She is Baha’i. Her husband, Mahmoud, a well-known retired local professor, is Muslim. One daughter is Jewish. Another child is Catholic.

“It really is an interfaith family,” Kaplan said. “She is going to be speaking about Thanksgiving and how happy she is to be in America.”

Fahmy, whose first name means “daughter of Iran,” recently published a book called, “A Checkerboard of Days and Night: A Memoir of My Cultural Journey.”

Every Thanksgiving, the Fahmy family offer Muslim, Baha’i, Jewish, and Christian prayers that honor their diverse backgrounds.

Tuesday’s service will begin at 7 p.m. and light refreshments will follow.

“It will be an opportunity to meet folks from different faiths,” Kaplan said.

Contact the writer:


570-821-2055; @cvbobkal

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