Welcoming The Stranger
We fulfill the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim—or, Welcoming the Stranger—though year-round efforts to build bonds with the Nyack Interfaith community and to provide material support to refugee resettlement efforts in upstate New York.
Every Spring, CSI hosts an annual Interfaith Dinner, where 120 members of multiple faith communities in the area—Churches, Temples and Mosques—join us for a festive, home-cooked Shabbat dinner. Through this annual tradition, we build friendships that strengthen the fabric of our local community and affirm our commitment to pluralism, tolerance and understanding.
If you love to plan menus, test recipes and cook; have a talent for calligraphy or floral arrangement; or simply enjoy hosting and entertaining, join our interfaith dinner subcommittee, which operates every February-March.
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
CSI proudly participates in the Interfaith Clergy Association of Nyack’s Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service. In November 2017, our congregation hosted this moving and musically uplifting event. This welcoming and warm service was the perfect way to come together and give thanks at the beginning of the busy holiday season.
Refugee Support & Solidarity
The biblical imperative to welcome strangers has particular resonance in the modern era, and the global refugee crisis has particular resonance to us as American Jews who are mostly descended from immigrants ourselves. For this reason, providing support for the local refugee community is a cause central to CSI’s social action platform.
Our congregation helps to support a community of 200+ refugee families that have resettled in upstate New York by organizing a variety of fundraising efforts and material goods collection drives. We do so via partnerships with multiple organizations throughout the region--including Vassar Refugee Solidarity and the Islamic Center of the Capital District-- and an offshoot group co-founded by one of our congregants, the Tristate Jewish Network for Refugee Support. Past efforts have included collecting diapers, children's clothing and household goods; collecting gift cards to Wal-Mart and Target for the families; and organizing a regional online back-to-school shoe drive to ensure that all of the children have suitable footwear for their upcoming school year.
If you would like to make a donation of new or gently used children’s winter clothing (especially parkas, snow pants/bibs, snow suits, snow boots) or gift cards to Target or Walmart to the MHRSA, you may bring these by to the CSI office during regular business hours and we will transport them upstate. If you have foreign language fluency in Arabic or Pashtun and would like to be involved in tutoring/mentoring efforts, please let us know!