Central Synagogue gives thanks at interfaith service


Central Synagogue-Beth Emeth hosted the 67th annual Interfaith Service of Thanksgiving on Nov. 21, during which a number of local religious leaders came together to celebrate the season.

Rockville Centre’s Daniel Finnegan, who completed a 3,000-mile trek from Long Beach to San Francisco in September, was invited to speak to the dozens in attendance about his experience.

By walking across America, he and his walking partner, Abby Bongaarts, raised more than $20,000 for JOIN, an Oregon-based charity focused on helping the homeless, which they had previously volunteered for. A collection was held for JOIN at the service, as well as for New Ground, an agency that educates and empowers families and veterans struggling with homelessness.

Finnegan talked about how thankful he was for the people along their journey who welcomed them into their homes, as he and Bongaarts used yard camping as a way to see the goodness in others.

“It’s hard to say sometimes what I learned from this trip,” he said, “but having experienced the sort of kindness and decency that is possible in most people, I just feel a lot of gratitude for that.”