The zeroth year of the From Synagogue to Church event was organized by the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia and the Roman Catholic Church - Žilina Diocese. The event was held under the auspices of the chairman of the Trenčín self-governing region, Jaroslav Baška, who completed the cycle tour himself.
On Friday, September 16, approximately 30 cyclists cycled from the Trenčín Synagogue to the Parish Church of All Saints in Púchov. The almost 50-kilometer cycle tour, which led from the center of the regional town through Nemšová, had a clear goal - to support Jewish-Christian dialogue and also to break stereotypes associated with these faiths. "One stereotype is that Jews don't do sports, they just hang out in cafes. The second is that we have a Jewish-Christian conflict. We want to convince the public that this is not the case," said Richard Duda, chairman of the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia. According to him, there are many events that focus on interreligious dialogue, but they are not that visible. "This is the first time we are going to do something in public. I believe that we will establish a new tradition," he stated.
The bike ride started in front of the synagogue in Trenčín, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation, with the help of EEA Grants and the state budget. The goal was the parish church in Púchov. "This event also has a strong message," emphasizes priest, Jesuit and vice-rector of Trnava University Miloš Lichner. "Usually in the village, when there was some tension between the religious groups, the priest and the rabbi walked around the village, talked and showed everyone that there was no problem. We are already a bit more modern, so we brought our bicycles and will go from the synagogue to the church," explained Lichner, who has been engaged in Jewish-Christian dialogue for almost seven years.