When a shooting massacre turned a Pittsburgh synagogue into a heavily damaged crime scene in October 2018, the rector at nearby Calvary Episcopal Church knew he wanted to do much more than just offer prayers and sympathy.

The Rev. Jonathon Jensen offered the use of the Calvary church space. “I said we’re going to do this, because I knew not one person would be upset,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was like, of course, we should do this.”

The displaced Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha Congregation made other arrangements in the immediate aftermath, but took Calvary up on its offer when the High Holy Days rolled around in 2019.

Later, on the last Sunday of Advent — which coincidentally was also the first day of Hanukkah — the church invited the synagogue to the annual Christmas pageant. Afterward, the synagogue hosted the church at a party celebrating the Jewish holiday, with potato pancakes, jelly doughnuts, dreidels and music.

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