Temple Beth Israel and All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church partnered together to host their Blessing of the Animals on Oct. 22 at Temple Beth Israel.
This event was open to people of all religions in the community.
“It was really a good way for us to interact with All Angels, which we've done a couple projects with in the past,” said Arlene Levy, Temple Beth Israel member. “It's a nice way to get to know them personally because the dogs take over what they do and help introduce yourself to others. Therefore, you start with the dogs and then you go from there.”
Blessings were led by Rabbi Stephen Sniderman of Temple Beth Israel and Rev. David Marshall of All Angels Church. There were around 25 dogs and a bearded lizard blessed.
The congregations also used this event to promote Rise Up Cafe, an ice cream parlor in Sarasota that offers training and employment to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rise Up gave away specialty dog treats to promote its cause and make connections in the Longboat Key community.
“A couple of people have said to me that they came to support us, given the crisis in Israel,” said Karen Gary, who leads the Membership Engagement and Social Action committees at Temple Beth Israel. “That's part of why I think we had such a great turnout today. It was the community’s way of reaching out and showing support. It’s very touching.”
Petra Rivera is the Longboat community reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree of journalism with an emphasis on reporting and writing from the University of Missouri. Previously, she was a food and drink writer for Vox magazine as well as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.