As a large crowd was gathering blocks away in advance of President Barack Obama’s visit to a local sub shop, a small interfaith group of religious leaders gathered at an Edison synagogue in support of the president and to pray that his policies bring peace to the Middle East.
“It is a good moment to stand in solidarity for peace,” said Imam Moustafa Zayed of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey in South Brunswick as he stood outside Congregation Beth-El.
The synagogue’s religious leader, Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, said he asked other area leaders to join him in a “non-political” gathering to show our “allegiance to the president and ask for peace in Israel and the Middle East and to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East.” The group also prayed for Obama in his efforts to lead the nation out of the economic crisis and guide it through difficult times.
The religious leaders also read a text from their own scripture.
“I am here today to join with my brothers and sisters of the Abrahamic faiths to say a prayer for our president and for all our elected officials in this state and country as they make very, very difficult decisions,” said Rev. Kenneth J. Macari of the Community Presbyterian Church in Edison. “I am praying for a spiritual renewal in our nation so that when you pick up a coin that phrase, ‘One nation under God,’ will be a reality.”
As the president enjoyed a six-inch “super sub” at the nearby Tastee Sub Shop and met with small business owners, the religious leaders formed their own motorcade as they drove to Jerusalem Pizza in Highland Park for a kosher lunch.