In Rochester, faith communities employ strategies, tradition and teachings to help people cope with natural disaster and tragic loss. One way, perhaps common to all of us, is coming together to comfort and to help.

On Monday, March 21, seven different faith community leaders gathered in at Temple B’rith Kodesh to respond to our brothers and sisters in Japan. Rabbi Laurence Kotok introduced the program. Approximately 100 community members joined in song, a familiar Jewish melody, the words with poignant meaning: “How good it is that brothers and sisters come together and dwell together.”

Then six religious leaders followed, each with a brief reflection on the enfolding situation in Japan, with ways the public can understand what has happened, and ways everyone can help.

“It is not only the tragedy of Japan. It is a tragedy for the whole world,” said Dr. Imam Shafiq, director of the Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Nazareth College.


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