Ohavi Zedek in Burlington - the largest and oldest Jewish congregation in the state - is being led by a new rabbi for the first time in 25 years.

The previous senior rabbi, Joshua Chasan was known, among other things, for being willing to take stands on controversial positions on issues like same-sex and interfaith marriages. He retired at the end of last year.

A coalition of lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution asking store owners in Montreal to welcome customers by using only the French greeting.
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The rise of Islamic State and other terrorist organizations have raised concerns about young people in Europe and the United States who get recruited to join and fight for these groups.

An organization in Montreal was so alarmed by this prospect that it created a program dedicated to anti-radicalization.

Andrew Harnik / AP

The vice-chairman of the Vermont Republican Party says Bernie Sanders’ wife has exacted a severe financial toll on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. But the bishop who oversees the Catholic Church in Vermont says the accusation is without merit.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Quechee Community Church is closing, and the church building will be sold.

Annie Russell / VPR

The resettling of Syrian refugees in the U.S. has become a national debate: While many governors have tried to block Syrians from entering their states, Gov. Peter Shumlin has pledged to continue to accept Syrian refugees.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino there has been a fresh wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric across much of the United States.

Yet the reaction in Vermont has largely been marked by acceptance of the Muslim community. Many Vermonters have expressed their support to the Islamic Society of Vermont, where about 200 people worship each week. 

An East Dorset Rabbi Is Comedic Advisor To Pope Francis

Nov 18, 2015
Sultan Khan

Pope Francis seems like a pontiff who not only has a feeling for the little guy, but also someone who enjoys a good laugh. And the Pope will soon get some humor help from a Vermonter – an East Dorset rabbi who has become comedy advisor to the pope.


Is change coming for the Catholic Church? A Vatican summit last month - the Synod on the Family - tackled big issues including homosexuality, divorce, and contraception. Some observers are saying that it might have laid the groundwork for the Church changing its policies. We're talking about what happened at the Synod, what's next for a Church at a crossroads, and what it could mean for Catholics in Vermont and beyond .

Annie Russell / VPR

Vermont's Hindu community came together this past weekend to celebrate one of the biggest annual holidays in the Hindu religion. Now, the group is longing for a spiritual home of its own.


Pope Francis attracted seemingly endless news coverage during his week-long visit to the United States, and the head of the Burlington Diocese had a role in mediating that coverage. Bishop Christopher Coyne traveled with the pontiff's entourage as one of the media coordinators.

Vermont Edition spoke to Bishop Coyne about the media work he did while on the road and got his reflections on the papal visit.

On the role Coyne played

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Sen. Patrick Leahy says Pope Francis' visit to Washington is a defining moment of Leahy's 40 year Congressional career.

And Leahy says he fully supports the pope's decision to speak out on environmental and economic issues.

Andrew Harnik / Andy Duback / AP / AP

The leader of Vermont's Catholics has a key role in this week's Papal visit to the U.S.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

One of the last wooden synagogue murals in the country, and possibly the last of its type in the world, spent 30 years behind a plaster wall in a rug store cum apartment building. On August 2, Burlington's Lost Shul Mural was unveiled at its new home at the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue.

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A new study of religion in America has a few big takeaways. The number of Christians is declining, though still very much a majority. The number of those who call themselves religiously "unaffiliated" is on the rise. Vermont, meanwhile, has a higher percentage of those unaffiliated than any other state. What accounts for that statistic?

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To think that some of our parents lived through the advent of television, watched the explosion of cable, the introduction of HD and are now streaming several seasons of Veep on their computer, it’s safe to say that television has changed massively over the decades. It can also be said that it has changed us as well.

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The newly installed bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington exuberantly exclaims that getting "fannies in the pews" is one of his top goals. 

Steve Zind / VPR

Christopher Coyne was officially installed today as the Tenth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. Representatives of the church joined Vermont Catholics for the ceremony at Saint Joseph Co-Cathedral.

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On Thursday, Vermont’s nearly 120,000 Catholics will have a new leader in the state. Bishop Christopher Coyne will be installed as the Tenth Bishop of Burlington at a ceremony in the Queen City.

Upright Steeple Society

Some New England churches are having big trouble keeping their pews full and their doors open. But an historic meeting house in Lyndon is getting reborn as a community center thanks in part to inmates from a nearby correctional facility.

In the bright sun of a winter afternoon, what was once the First Congregational Church stands tall again.

Steve Zind / VPR

There is a great deal of history in the Christ's Church in Saxton’s River.

The pipe organ is circa 1893. The original building goes back another 50 years.