It was the kind of event that restores one’s faith in humanity.
The Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center partnered with two churches and a mosque to bring senior citizens from their congregations together to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The seniors came from every walk of life, representing three different faith traditions, for an exercise in shared humanity.
“Now you may wonder why we and many others in the faith community have been doing this, and it’s because our faith teaches us that when one life is saved, it’s as if the entire world was saved,” said Rabbi Jonathan Berkun of the ATJC.
500 Christian, Muslim, and Jewish senior citizens received vaccinations inside a synagogue.
“It shows that we’re all the same and we’re all subject to the same problems and I think it’s great,” said Harold Siegel, who had already been vaccinated and was grateful to see his wife get the shot Thursday.
“We’re in a diverse world and so it should take place and it’s a good thing, it’s all good,” said Gail, who received the vaccine and declined to give her last name to us.
“Wonderful, I can tell you, I can’t even have words to explain, it’s very nice,” said Mofid Malik after receiving his shot in the arm.
Gov. Ron DeSantis came to the interfaith event to applaud the message it sends, that we’re all in this fight together.
“In peoples’ daily life, they want to look out for one another, they want to make sure that our seniors are getting vaccines, they understand how important this is, and it doesn’t matter what tradition you come from, you want to be there for the folks who really matter,” DeSantis said, speaking about senior citizens.
“We felt it was important to demonstrate once again our shared, common humanity to break down the walls,” Berkun said, flanked by clergy from a church and from a mosque.
“What is a better action than saving a life, and I think we’re all here to save the life of human beings, this is a very noble act, and I’m so happy that we are together to do it,” said Imam Dr. Abdul Samra of the Islamic Center of Greater Miami.
“We are so much more similar than we are different,” added Pastor Michael Anderson of New Jerusalem Baptist Church.
Pastor Anderson calls today an example of “humaning,” a word he made up to describe what he saw today.
“Humaning is, it simply shouldn’t be this hard to be human, beating this, this is not political, beating this is no bigger than a human making sure that all other humans are OK,” Anderson said.
DeSantis said there have been 25 vaccination events held at houses of worship in Florida, but this was the first interfaith event and he hopes more like it will be organized.
The governor also said the state is reserving 1,500 doses a week for homebound seniors and said about half of that amount is going this week to Holocaust survivors.