Friendships among various religious leaders and groups in Philadelphia have helped to sustain ties at a time when its Jewish and Muslim communities are suffering a spike in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents, as this long story shows. A group of about 15 Jewish and Muslim community leaders composed of both clergy and laypeople has held conversations that are personal and emotional. Another interfaith group has brought together Jewish people and Black Christians to share, learn and advocate on important issues together. On Dec. 10, the fourth night of Hanukkah, 50 clergy and laypeople from Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish congregations and Baptist, Mennonite and Lutheran churches joined together to sing, pray and eat. "No matter what happens in a region far from here, that is near and dear and important to all of us, we need to be neighbors, and we want to be neighbors, and we need and want to live in community together," says Rabbi David Straus, co-convener of the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia.

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