Traditional Celebration In Non-Traditional Setting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/18/05

Traditional Celebration In Non-Traditional Setting

Members of South Mississippi's Jewish community gathered Sunday afternoon to play traditional games, eat traditional foods, and share a traditional good time - all in a non-traditional setting.

They met here at Beauvoir United Methodist Church in Biloxi, which has been their home for a few weeks now.

"Beauvoir Methodist Church has been generous and extremely kind in offering us the use of their facility for our weekly shabat services, for our special weekends when our visiting rabbis come and as you can see today, for our Hanukah party," said Lori Beth Susman of B'nai B'rith.

As they honor the history behind the Hanukkah celebration, many of those in attendance cannot help but to recognize the miracles they as a congregation have seen since Katrina.

"The oil in the temple lasted for 8 days, which was a miracle at that time.The miracle that we've seen is the kindness that people have shown has lasted far more than 8 days. And we are truly blessed to be here," said Susman.

"We're a building that is still in tact one of the few houses of worship that are still in tact after Katrina. And we feel that we're all children of God and we had a responsibility to offer a space to anybody that needed it.How could we not do this? These are my brothers and sisters. In a family you help each other," said Beauvoir United Methodist Church Rev. Marilyn Perrine.

"I would say that in general what the storm has really brought to our attention is that there are so many communities that are supportive of us and have sent all kinds of things from all over the country, who've opened their doors to us, and it's a real blessing to feel both Jews and non-Jews come to support us," said student Rabbi Anne Tucker of Beth Israel.

Meaning the miracle of generosity can sometimes be the best gift for the holidays.

Beauvoir United Methodist Church is also hosting the congregation of another Methodist church, as well as the Hands On USA volunteer organization.

By Karla Redditte

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