Provided by Congregation Ner Shalom
On Friday, Sept. 7, Congregation Ner Shalom hosted its Fifth Annual Patriot Day Shabbat Service. This special Friday night sabbath service honored Prince William County’s first responders, including firefighters, police officers, EMT, and active and retired military personnel. Congregation Ner Shalom, located in Woodbridge, is Prince William County’s only synagogue.
Rabbi Lizz Goldstein led the service, which was broadcast live to members of our armed services via a live streaming on YouTube, and with Cantorial Soloist Amanda Jensema, led the congregation in song opening the evening with America the Beautiful. After Alec Levy, CDR U.S. Navy, Retired, and President of the synagogue, welcomed the honored guests, the congregation rose and sang the National Anthem.
Local dignitaries attending the service included Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, Fire Systems Chief Kevin McGee, , Police Chief Barry Barnard, State Senator of the 29th District Jeremy McPike, who is also an 18-year veteran volunteer firefighter with the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department, and representing the 2nd District, State Delegate Jennifer Caroll Foy. A large contingent of rank and file firefighters was also in attendance. Chief Barnard and Chief McGee each spoke, reflecting on Sept. 11, 2001 and the bravery of the first responders at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and those on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and how local fire and police departments have started collaborating, not just with their counterparts around the country and with federal authorities, but also overseas with their counterparts in England and France.
Ner Shalom’s Harry Kantrovich, a Retired Navy Command Master Chief Petty Officer, addressed the congregation, honoring the local county heroes who have died in the service of their community and their country, including Colin Wolfe, a member of Congregation Ner Shalom.
In deference to those in attendance not of the Jewish faith, Rabbi Goldstein led most of the service in English instead of the traditional Hebrew; however, when a prayer was in Hebrew, the Rabbi explained where the meaning of the prayer could be found.
The service concluded with Amanda Jensema leading the congregation in singing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”.
Congregation Ner Shalom is dedicated to preserving the traditions of the past, pledged to serving the spiritual, cultural, educational and social needs of our congregation and the community in the present, and committed to providing innovative and progressive ideas to meet the challenges of the future. Ner Shalom is a diverse congregation reaching out to all people. We welcome everyone who is interested in participating in the lively, vibrant world of Reform Judaism. Ner Shalom is your Jewish community, as well as your extended family in Prince William County. For more information please call us, (703) 878-6904 or email our Chair of Membership, [email protected].