From The Desk of North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena: A spiritual home  

From The Desk of North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena:  A spiritual home  
Jennifer DeSena

 This past weekend I was invited to celebrate Greek Easter at Archangel Michael Church in Port Washington. Their candlelight vigil on Saturday evening was a profound display of faith, and in some ways the service marked the unofficial end to this spring’s many religious celebrations.

Indeed, every major faith seems to celebrate its holy days at this time of year and as town supervisor, I’m blessed to be invited to many of these services. For my Jewish friends, it’s Passover.

For Christians, it’s Holy Week and Easter. Hindus celebrate the spring festival of Holi, Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi, and of course there’s Ramadan, a sacred time for Muslims.

Perhaps it’s because spring brings with it a sense of anticipation for new beginnings. Or maybe we instinctually align the Earth’s reawakening with a spiritual renewal of our own.

All of these religious traditions include elements of devotion, prayer, reflection and even fasting – all part of a larger effort to cleanse hearts and minds and begin again. Since anyone can remember, human beings have yearned for a reset or what I like to call a “do-over.” Whatever faith you practice or even if you don’t subscribe to any religion at all, spring has traditionally been that opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin again.

In that light, the Town of North Hempstead is a great place to start that journey. You may not realize it, but our town is home to more than 300 houses of worship and the variety of congregations is as diverse as our population.

This rich diversity and the resulting interfaith unity it fosters are just some of the many reasons that I believe we are blessed to live here.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m lucky enough to worship with many of my neighbors, and best of all, I’m there for some of the most important moments in their lives. Truth be told, I never tire of connecting with people on this level. So, I can give firsthand witness to the joy and faith that exists in our town and I can also tell you it’s there for the taking.

It’s true that a town’s character is expressed in many ways. Most people think of housing, shopping, parks, or schools when they move somewhere. But having vibrant places of worship that welcome everyone with opens arms is pretty nice, too.  And we have that, right here in North Hempstead.

So no matter how you celebrate, I hope your spiritual reset is underway and that it brings you some peace. And wherever you are on your journey, please know that your North Hempstead neighbors can help you along the way.


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  1. And the Town is now being sued because the Republicans in the Board, De Sena included, voted against the expansion of the Hillside Islamic Center in Jan. for trumped up “safety” reasons which the Center was addressing. The hypocrisy is unbelievable but not surprising.

  2. What a joke!! DeSena voted against the expansion of the Hillside Islamic Center last month, along with the other Republican council members, after delaying the issue for months. For her to write about how proud she is of the religious diversity in North Hempstead is the height of hypocrisy.


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