Category Archives: Past Events

Nov. 9 – Kristallnacht Program

Date:  Tuesday, November 9th, Film

Time: 7- 9pm. 

Location: PAC at Middle School South

We’ll be screening “Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross” from Writer/Producer/Director Roger Lyons. Steve Ross was a Holocaust survivor and founder of the Boston Holocaust Memorial.

photography of blue ceramic coffee cup

Oct. 17 – Faith, Coffee, and Friends

Sunday, October 17th, 3 pm

Location: Prescott Community Center

Our new monthly gathering is open to all interested in connecting on the topic of faith.  We seek to build on our diverse community.

October Theme:  How does our faith feed our daily lives?”

GIC Film Series: Selma on Sat, March 7

The Groton Interfaith Council Presents:

Sat, March 7 
2-4:30 pm 
The Groton Center 
163 W. Main St
Rating: PG-13

The Groton Interfaith Council Film Screening Series intends to share noteworthy films and discuss diverse faith traditions in order to foster understanding, respect, justice, and peace in our community.

Our inaugural film will be Selma, shown in honor of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., on Saturday, March 7th, the day that the marches from Selma to Montgomery began. The marches from Selma were organized by nonviolent activists to demonstrate the desire of African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. By highlighting racial injustice, they contributed to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement of the civil rights movement.

The screening is free of charge and will take place at the Groton Center on 164 W. Main St (formerly known as the Groton Senior Center). Light snacks and delicious desserts will be served.  

Pictures from Global Fusion: A Musical Exploration of Faith and Culture

Thanks to everyone who came out to support our music program, “Global Fusion: A Musical Exploration of Faith and Culture.”  About 200 people in attendance, plus those watching on video recorded by the Groton Channel, were swept up by a spirit of peace and a feeling of goodness. This was a room filled with people of many faith traditions who all share a belief that love, peace, respect, and understanding are the way we should live. It is our hope that events like this one can help break down barriers and make this world a more understanding and respectful place.  

Global Fusion: A Musical Exploration of Faith and Culture

Sunday, September 15th, 3:00-5:00

Sponsored by the Groton Interfaith Council (GIC)

Music is a universal language which is used, understood, and enjoyed by people of diverse ages and backgrounds. This event will include musical presentations from faiths represented on the GIC: Muslim, Native American, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Unitarian, and more! Our goal in organizing this event is to present the surrounding communities with an opportunity to experience something new, and to foster respect and recognize the humanity in our fellow women and men. We hope attendees and participants will see the commonalities and differences between their own beliefs and that of others, and see that diversity is enriching.

Date: Sunday, September 15, 2019
Time: 3:00 – 5:00pm
Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (represented on the GIC) –
616 Great Rd., Littleton MA

Bialystok Cemetery Restoration Project

Sunday, March 24th, 2-4pm @ First Parish Church in Groton – 1 Powderhouse Rd, Groton, MA

Amy and Josh Degen have been coordinating a volunteer effort to restore a Jewish Cemetery in Bialystok Poland since the summer of 2016.  They established a nonprofit 501c3 called The Bialystok Cemetery Restoration Fund. 

The Bagnowka cemetery is the only remaining Jewish cemetery in Bialystok; a city which had a Jewish population of 150,000 up until 1941 before the Nazis invaded.  Only 1,000 Bialystok Jews survived, and today there are less than 5 Jews in Bialystok.
Come and learn about the Degen’s Project and their quest to ‘Right a Wrong’.

Coffee and desserts will be provided.

For more information email

Waking in Oak Creek screening and talk on April 29, 2017

The Groton Interfaith Council, in conjunction with the Groton Police Department, is sponsoring a showing of the film “Waking In Oak Creek”, a 34 minute documentary about a hate crime shooting in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and the community’s inspiring response to the tragedy. The film will be followed by a panel discussion which will include Groton’s Chief of Police, Donald Palma and two people who are featured in the film.

The focus of the film and the discussion afterwards is how the town came together and learned about each other, working together to embrace their differences and to build a stronger community. It is the Groton Interfaith Council’s intention to also bring this focus to our community, as we welcome a large, new Shirdi Sai Parivaar temple this summer, and to continue fostering conversations in our town about our differences and our commonalities.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 6:30 pm. at the Groton Middle School Performing Arts Center, located at 344 W. Main Street in Groton. The event is free and refreshments will be served.

All are welcome, although there are parts of the film that can be disturbing to see, and it may be more appropriate for older teenagers and adults.

The Groton Interfaith Council, established in 2009, is made up of members representing various churches, worship communities, faith traditions and individuals in the Groton area. The mission of the Interfaith Council is to foster understanding, respect, justice and peace among people of various religious and faith traditions through worship, fellowship, education and service.

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Abrahamic Faiths Panel

Abrahamic Faith Poster

Speaker Biographies:

Rabbi Neal Gold – Speaking on Judaism

Rabbi Neal Gold

Rabbi Neal Gold has been the Senior Rabbi of Temple Shir Tikva since July 2005. He arrived at Shir Tikva with a wealth of experience after eight years as Associate Rabbi of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ.

Rabbi Gold is committed to building and maintaining a Jewish Sacred Community at Shir Tikva. As he explains, “A Jewish Sacred Community is a community embodied on traditional Jewish priorities, including the study of Torah, performing Mitzvot, worshipping God and doing acts of kindness, social justice and peacemaking.  In that context, every individual is valued for the unique gifts that he or she brings and is encouraged to grow spiritually by discovering his or her special niche in communal life.”

The Rabbi has been involved with creating meaningful interfaith projects and is an active leader of the Wayland  Clergy Association. For many years, he served proudly on the board of the Ziv Tzedakah Fund and is a founding board member of the Kavod Tzedakah Collective.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis and the President’s Council of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Gold was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997 and graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. He and his wife, Heidi, have two sons, Avi and Jeremy, both students at The Rashi School. Rabbi Gold enjoys fishing, writing, skiing, reading and highly amplified music.

Joseph T. Kelley, Ph.D., D.Min. – Speaking on Christianity

521_joekelley_finJoseph Kelley is Associate Professor in Religious and Theological Studies at Merrimack College where he also directs the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. He has served the college as Provost and Vice-President, and is a clinical psychologist. Kelley is the author of five books, including Saint Augustine of Hippo: Selection from Confessions and Other Essential Writings (SkyLight Paths Publications, 2010) and What Are They Saying About Augustine? (Paulist Press, 2014), and three other books in Christian theology. He and his wife Alina live in Methuen, Massachusetts, and enjoy their two adult children who have moved out of the house—mostly.

Celene Ayat Lizzio – Speaking on Islam

celene-ayat-lizzioCelene Ayat Lizzio is Islamic Studies Scholar-in-Residence and Co-Director of the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College

Ms. Lizzio is a Faculty Associate of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, a lecturer in Islamic studies at Episcopal Divinity School, and Co-Director of the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College. She earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Harvard Divinity School in Islamic Studies and completed a bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department. Ms. Lizzio has published widely and has been recognized as a Harvard Presidential Scholar and a fellow in Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations at Princeton University, among other distinctions.

Ms. Lizzio has written numerous articles on themes related to interreligious relations, Islamic family law, feminist theory, women’s religious leadership, and Islamic Higher Education. Her recent publications include: “Religion, Gender, and Family Law: Critical Perspectives on Integration for European Muslims,” in Muslim Family Law in Western Societies, and “Women’s Leadership in North American Islam,” in Religious Leadership, as well as a study on women’s ritual purity in Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians. Her essays and editorials appear in a variety of publications including in Studies in Interreligious Dialogue and the Journal of Muslim World Affairs, and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women.