NYC Stories

  • A Baha’i Lesson in a Coffee Shop

    March 27, 2014

    It is a cold winter afternoon and the Starbucks coffee shop on Second Avenue and East 13th Street is crowded and noisy. Four friends in their 20’s —  Shirin Montenegro, Carmel Kappus, Anisa Heavia and ...

  • Finding Respite in Holy Communion

    March 27, 2014

    There is magic in the moment of stepping into The Church of the Ascension in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The scent of incense is warm and delightful. Candles are burning in glass bell-shaped jars decorating ...

  • A Rally in Solidarity: Ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York City

    March 17, 2014

    Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women rallied on Water Street in lower Manhattan on Sunday to protest the Israeli Parliament’s proposal to draft Haredi men into the Israeli army. The demonstrators gathered in ...

  • A Priestly Personality

    March 15, 2014

    A small group was already gathered around a banquet table when Father Vasilios Bassakyros descended the creaky stairs to the basement of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan. The linoleum floors were ...

  • Witnessing the Bathing of a Deity

    March 14, 2014

    In the center of a large open Hindu temple in Queens, New York,  a gleaming black statue of Ganesha sits enshrined in front of a large  audience of worshipers. For the gathered believers, it is ...

  • At a Queens Temple, Hinduism is Taught to a New Generation

    March 10, 2014

    A game of Taboo is in progress, and it’s getting aggressive. “What!? How could you not know the answer to that one?” “Ok, he’s a blue man,” says the pre-teen girl holding the clue cards. All at ...

  • A Bible Lesson for the Young in Yiddish

    March 10, 2014

     Kop, akslen, kni un fis, kni un fis! A dozen youngsters between the ages of five and six tumbled over themselves, touching their head, shoulders, knees and feet, chanting along. Kop, akslen, kni un fis, kni un ...

  • Superbowl at the Synagogue

    March 6, 2014

    After a long and energized prayer service at  the Congregation of B’nai Jacob of Park Slope, the rabbi was introduced to the congregation by a younger man.  Rabbi Shimon Hecht walked briskly and with a ...

  • A Lesson in Judgment

    March 5, 2014

    Bishoy Takla waited a few minutes before beginning the Bible lesson for college students at St. Mary and Antonios Coptic Orthodox Church in Ridgewood, Queens. He was on the lookout for stragglers, hoping to catch ...

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