Jackson congregation hosting AIDS Quilt panels

The first week of December, Beth Israel in Jackson is partnering with St. James Episcopal Church to host the NAMES Project Foundation’s AIDS Memorial Quilt.

In 2006, St. James hosted 12 sections of the quilt, which contains panels detailing the lives of those who have died from AIDS. Friends of the deceased put the panels together, and there are almost 50,000 panels.

After the initial showing at St. James, the church has budgeted to bring the quilt back to Jackson each year, to be hung in different places of worship. This year, the church approached Beth Israel.

The quilt’s debut at Beth Israel will be in time for the Sisterhood Chanukah dinner on Dec. 1.

On Dec. 4, there will be a World AIDS Day interfaith healing service at Beth Israel, with over a dozen clergy from a wide range of denominations. The service will be at 6:30 p.m.

The week concludes on Dec. 7 with a neighborhood cookout and carnival at the church, which Beth Israel members are invited to attend after Shabbat morning services. The Walk of Grace will start at 1 p.m. starting at the church. The walk benefits Grace House, a transitional living space for people in the Jackson area who have HIV or AIDS.

Rabbi Valerie Cohen said groups would be visiting Beth Israel throughout the week to view the quilt, led by docents from Beth Israel and partner congregations.

By displaying the quilt during Chanukah, Cohen said, “we lend our support to the fight for survival – for all those living with HIV or AIDS and their families.”