Armenians and Jews will come together in a prayer for peace during the Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood’s Oct. 23 virtual Shabbat service.
Rabbi Jonathan Cohen teamed up with Father Hratch Sargsyan of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Richmond Heights after Azerbaijan, along with Syrian mercenaries and terrorists hired by Turkey, launched a large-scale attack on Nagorno Karabakh early in the morning on Sept. 27.
Nagorno Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus. Civilian-populated areas were targeted and large scale attacks have continued with more than 600 Armenian soldiers and civilians killed – total casualties have exceeded 1,000.
“It’s touching that Rabbi Cohen has made this service available,” Ara Bagdasarian of Solon told the Cleveland Jewish News Oct. 21. “People have lost their lives and many of them are connected to families here in Cleveland. ... The Temple-Tifereth Israel community having the service means a lot, it really means a lot.”
The service will come one day after a peace march was scheduled Oct. 22 in downtown Cleveland hosted by Cleveland’s Armenian community.
“On Friday night (Oct. 23), we’re looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with members of the Armenian clergy and praying for peace and especially praying for peace for the civilians who have been so profoundly affected by the violence that was generated just recently,” Cohen told the CJN Oct. 21.
He said virtual attendees can expect the temple’s typical Shabbat service with Kabbalah Shabbat and engage “in our beautiful rituals and music, as well as a common prayer for peace and for well being, especially for that part of the world, along with our Armenian colleagues.”
Cohen said he is unsure of how many people will log on to participate, but said “hundreds of people” have tuned into the temple’s services on a weekly basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding, “we are hopeful that many people will tune in and will join us in a prayer for peace.”
To live stream the services, visit bit.ly/35emEfy.