A special memorial candle lighting during the service

The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood partnered with congregants from St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Richmond Heights for a Kabbalat Shabbat service on Nov. 8.

The joint service commemorated both Kristallnacht and the precursors to the Armenian genocide – precursors that included the expression of religious hatred in the Ottoman Empire in November 1914.


Rabbi Stacy Schlein, Father Hratch Sargsyan, Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, Rabbi Roger Klein, Deacon Ari Terjanian and Cantor Kathryn Wolfe Sebo

“We are delighted to have had an opportunity to highlight the historical link between the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust in our Kristallnacht commemoration service,” said Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, The Temple’s senior rabbi. “We are deeply grateful to our friends at St. Gregory of Narek, and especially to Father Hratch Sargsyan and Deacon Ari Terjanian, whose leadership and participation made our service so meaningful and impactful, and look forward to our second upcoming collaboration with them in late April.


Father Hratch Sargsyan of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church pictured with Rabbi Jonathan Cohen.

“The bonds of shared experience through diaspora, persecution and genocide, as well as pride in our heritage and identity and successful integration and contribution in so many countries form a solid foundation for our friendship. We look forward to its growth and to many shared moments of commemoration, action, and celebration together in the years to come.”

A special extended Oneg followed the service, featuring Jewish and Armenian foods and desserts.

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