For the fourth consecutive year, Temple Beth Torah (TBT) is receiving an award designating it as a "Community of Respect tm ." This is an award given annually by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to organizations that strive to share learning in respectful ways.
Temple Beth Torah is receiving this award for participation and leadership in interfaith programming. Several activities throughout the year qualified TBT for this award. Three different Methodist church groups of confirmation students attended the temple's Friday night Shabbat services, welcomed by the temple members, enjoying special services that helped teach about Judaism and Jewish worship.
In August, Rabbi Dan Gordon spoke on a panel with a Methodist minister and an Islamic imam at a program sponsored by the Institute for Interfaith Dialog, as each member of the clergy taught about "Resolving Conflicts in the Abrahamic Traditions." On September 11, in cooperation with Compassionate Houston, TBT religious school students participated in two community service programs; younger children prepared soup packages for Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM) and older children visited Family Time's women and children's shelter to lead games and crafts for the families residing there. An ongoing food drive for Humble Area Assistance Ministries was also included among the many things the temple does to help with the larger community.
To help celebrate this achievement, Dr. Bruce Edison from ADL's board of directors will come to TBT to present the award at Shabbat services on Friday, March 30 at 7.15 PM. Additionally, guest speaker for the evening will be Reverend Kimberly Orr, associate pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church. Pastor Orr is the first Caucasian pastor to serve in a clergy position at Windsor Village, one of the largest predominantly African American churches in the United States. Prior to becoming a minister, she received degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting, and toured with Houston Grand Opera. Pastor Orr has a passion for deep biblical study and gleaning truths from the Jewish roots of Christianity. She received a certificate of Jewish Learning from the Florence Melton School for Adult Learning (affiliated with Hebrew University), where Rabbi Dan Gordon was one of her teachers at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston. Pastor Orr will present a special sermon entitled "Theological Jazz: Learning the Language of Respect."
Temple Beth Torah is located at 320 Shallow Drive in Humble, Texas. Since 1983, the temple has been the only synagogue serving the Jewish communities of northeast Houston, and in recent years has grown in both numbers and reputation. The temple invites the community to share in its joy to celebrate this important award.