Opening Doors for New Americans since 1882
For the past three years, the congregants and religious leaders of Main Line Reform Temple have been devoted friends of HIAS Pennsylvania. MLRT’s Sisterhood has recruited a cadre of volunteers and supporters to assist with our Refugee Resettlement program, collected hundreds of in-kind donations, and hosted rummage sales, giving newly arrived refugees clothes, furniture and household sales.
So imagine how pleased we were to learn that this incredible force had allied with two other congregations in the area to create the Unity Choir, an interfaith ensemble that sings songs of faith and hope. The Choir is made up of congregants from Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Am Israel of Penn Valley and Zion Baptist Church of Ardmore and was formed over 20 years ago, when Beth Am and Zion Baptist Church came together in honor of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. Shortly thereafter, Main Line Reform Temple joined and now the group has over 60 members and has produced a CD entitled "These Songs of Freedom."
HIAS Pennsylvania was proud and honored to have the Unity Choir provide the musical portion of our 2012 event and the results were electrifying. The over 45 members who attended opened and closed the evening, featuring six songs over the course of the night, including a beautiful rendition of Neil Diamond's " Coming to America." It was a moving performance that was loved and appreciated by all who attended - including the choir themselves. This lovely message was posted by the cantor of Beth Am Israel, Hazzan Harold Messinger, shortly after the event:
After the performance we then sat and listened to the incredible work that HIAS [Pennsylvania] does: Engaging lawyers to do countless hours of pro-bono work on behalf of their immigrant clients and saving families, restoring dignity and self worth to individuals who would otherwise fall through the cracks of our country. We heard of doctors setting up clinics and giving life saving care to individuals who would have nowhere else to turn. And we heard of those whose generosity allows HIAS [Pennsylvania] to facilitate these encounters. Looking out into the crowd of attendees, I was proud to see our members Carol Gantman, Harris Sokoloff, Judy and Roy Eidelson and Marc Jacobs in attendance.
Singing at this event was a true blessing, as it gave all of us in the Choir a chance to offer our music as gratitude for this truly special organization!
We are so glad that this connection between new and old friends has been made and can't wait for the next performance!