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Home From the Rabbi From the Rabbi - October 2012
From the Rabbi - October 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Friends:

I have the pleasure and privilege occasionally to meet with Jews who are considering becoming new residents of Corpus Christi.  These conversations are usually a lot of fun, because I get to tell them about our congregation and our city and I get to learn about what concerns they have as they think about moving here.  Parents, of course, are interested in schools and in neighborhoods where other Jewish children live.  But almost invariably the discussion turns to the relationship of the Jewish community to the general population of the city.  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it dozens of times: “Is there any anti-Semitism in Corpus Christi?”

To be honest, I am sure that there are some people in this city who do not like Jews and who do not want to associate with us, either in business or socially.  But if  there are, they have certainly kept their ideas and feelings a secret from me.  I can tell prospective resident that, in the more than ten years that we have lived here, we have never experienced anything that remotely resembled anti-Semitism.

Quite the contrary!  Phyllis and I have been accepted and welcomed in virtually every circle.  We become involved in a number of civic organizations, boards and committees.  I’ve been asked to lead prayers at the Catholic Social Services banquet several times.  My teaching about Judaism and religion, in general, has been enthusiastically supported at TAMUCC.  And, most of all, we are thrilled that we have good friends who are Jewish and just as many who are not.  Our religious affiliation has never made a whit of difference in our integration into the community of Corpus Christi.

I tell you this because I want you to mark something on your calendars.  Two years ago, a small group of clergy met in my office to talk about a commemoration of the tragedy of 9/11.  You may remember that we implemented five interfaith service projects to improve the life of our city, held services at each congregation to focus on what we might learn from those horrific events and then gathered for a common service at the First United Methodist Church.  Nine hundred or so people attended.

We continued our interfaith conversations and planning during the next year with an eye on offering another common program to the general community.  On SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 AT 5:30 pm AT THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER ON THE CAMPUS OF TAMUCC, we are hosting a concert to celebrate the rich diversity of religious and ethnic identities in the Corpus Christi area, but also to underline the fact that we are united in building a harmonious and collaborative community.  The theme of this concert will be Peace and Freedom as exemplified by the music of many separate traditions.

Among the performers will be the Corpus Christi Community Choir, our own Kim and Laurie Bryce, the Del Mar Children’s Choir, the choir of the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Mariachi Torero and, as the piece de resistance, a touring group of Islamic,, Turkish, Sufi mystics who are Whirling Dervishes and who are beginning their American visit right here in Corpus Christi.  As an audience, we’ll also have a chance to sing along with the performers on at least two occasions.

You should not want to miss this opportunity to hear some diverse and wonderful  music FOR FREE and at the same time accentuate the fact that interfaith friendship and cooperation are a high priority in our city.  It’s a statement the combined clergy of our community are excited to make: we hope you’ll come out and stand for the same ideals of proud diversity and ardent unity in our city.  I look forward to seeing you on October 7th.

     Kenneth D. Roseman, Rabbi

 

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