JCC multi-faith event to 'make community stronger'

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Hinduism, Islam and Judaism will be discussed at JCC's interfaith event.
  • The event is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, in the JCC auditorium.

Local residents will get a chance to learn a little bit about other faiths during the York Jewish Community Center's interfaith event set for Tuesday.

The event, titled "A Jew, a Muslim and a Hindu all walk into a JCC ..." aims to educate with three speakers representing each of the titled faiths. Each speaker will present their faith to three different groups before meeting as a bigger group to discuss more. There also will be a question-and-answer session.

“Really, we want people to come out to learn more and to dispel the stereotypes and the myths and celebrate our differences and also celebrate our commonalities," JCC spokeswoman Melissa Plotkin said.

Rabbi Jeffrey Astrachan of Temple Beth Israel will speak about Judaism; Rabiya Khan, of York City, will speak about Islam; and Hiten Amin, of the Harrisburg area, will speak about Hinduism.

“This is a great opportunity for people to learn similarities in faith,” Astrachan said.

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Amin, who volunteers at HARI Temple in New Cumberland, said the event should give people a better understanding of religion.

"It creates a better bond with other humans," he said.

Astrachan said people are content not knowing much about one another.

“It’s time that we come out from behind our computers and keyboard and actually meet the people in our community,” he said.

Religion: Khan said she has given speeches like this before.

“I’ve been living in York now for about 10 years, and I just thought that I needed to get myself out there and kind of reclaim the narrative that has been distorted by terrorist groups,” she said.

Khan said she enjoys talking about her faith.

“I’m always excited to do anything to dispel myths and show the truth about our faith,” she said.

Khan said she will basically be giving people "Islam 101."

Amin said he doesn't have any agenda going into the event and only wants to educate those in attendance about Hinduism.

Astrachan said Judaism is an ancient religion that becomes new again with each generation.

The rabbi emphasized the event was a great way to show that all Yorkers are part of the same community.

“We have to see people, learn about people face to face, in person," Astrachan said. "Then we can celebrate each other and make our community stronger.”

If you go: The free event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the JCC auditorium, 2000 Hollywood Drive, York Township. Registration is recommended. Those interested may call  (717) 843-0918 to register. More information may be found here.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.