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Sha'are Shalom Welcomes Neighbors

Jewish Community Opens Doors, Invites Questions

The Congregation Sha’are Shalom, a conservative synagogue in Leesburg, will hold an open house Wednesday, March 14, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The synagogue's open house is part of the Open Houses of Faith program, coordinated by Girl Scout volunteers. Open Houses of Faith is an educational program, which began in February 2006, to educate Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area communities about different faiths and religions practiced here.

Sandy Saha, program specialist for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, said the Open Houses of Faith program is designed to educate communities across the D.C. Metropolitan area.

"The idea is to get people talking about their faith," Saha said. "We want to try and increase understanding among people of different faiths through these programs. So far, we’ve been successful."

Congregation Sha’are Shalom is just one of several places of worship to host an open house event.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, one of the largest Muslim mosques in the Washington, D.C.-metro area and in the United States, held an open house Sunday, March 4.

Priscilla Martinez is the Northern Virginia coordinator of Open Houses of Faith and a member of the ADAMS Center. "Our goal is to welcome our neighbors into our facility and share with them some of our traditions," Martinez said. "Some may be different, some may be the same."