Seven years ago a new Hebrew congregation desperately in need of a place to worship in over-crowded New York turned to the 110 year old Village Presbyterian Church.
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Background: Seven years ago a new Hebrew congregation desperately in need of a place to worship in over-crowded New York turned to the 110 year old Village Presbyterian Church. And what started as a temporary, emergency housing problem has become a rich, lasting program. Separate signs outside, the white-columned old church proclaim that this is the common home of two separate and distinct religions. For despite their physical closeness...their common community program...neither congregation compromises at all in their strictly religion sins. On Friday evenings, for example, the cross is carefully, reverently removed from the altar by the sexton. Then, with the help of a member of the Jewish congregation, the communion table is taken off and, with these few changes, the house of worship is now a consecrated synagogue... Last Sunday, at the end of Brotherhood Week, Rabbi Irving Block voiced his fervent pride in his parishioners and their experiment... One of the joint community projects this week was, fittingly enough, an essay contest on the topic, "How I Can be a Better Brother". Children from 6 to 14 years...from public, private and parochial schools...gather to hear the winners announced. And as each name is called, thunderous applause from an audience whose only element of partisanship is whether or not the winner happens to be a friend. One of the winners...8 year old Ann Klos, who very carefully reads this lesson from a very young life...
That evening, an informal interview with Rabbi Block and his good friend, Dr. Jesse Stitt of the Village Presbyterian Church....