Interfaith Peace Walk set for Cobble Hill, Heights

September 9, 2012 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor
Children of Abraham Peace Walk
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For nine years, the Children of Abraham Peace Walk has sought to heal New York City — particularly Brooklyn — from the pain and anger of 9/11.

The walk, established in 2003, has been endorsed by many of the city’s congregations. Its lead organizers have included the Rev. Tom Martinez of All Souls-Bethlehem Church in Flatbush-Ditmas Park, Rabbi Ellen Lippmann of Congregation Kolot Chayeinu (Voices of Our Lives) in Park Slope, and Debbie Almontaser, a local Muslim leader and member of the Dawood Mosque. Each year, the Peace Walk focuses on a different neighborhood in Brooklyn, and often includes crossing the Brooklyn Bridge into Lower Manhattan.

This year’s Children of Abraham Peace walk will converge on Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. Organizers is affirming solidarity with a local institution recently hit by a natural disaster — Christ Church, which was struck by lighting in late July, killing a passer-by and severely damaging the building.

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Referring to the Christ Church tragedy, flyer for the event reads, “Life is precious and a fatal disaster can strike at any time … This year we gather to acknowledge the value of our interfaith solidarity at a time of need.

In past years, the walk was held in June. Last, year, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, the walk was moved to Sept. 11, in an endeavor for persons from all three Abrahamic faiths to commemorate the tragedy and to nurture peace and solidarity together.

The Kane Street Synagogue, at 236 Kane St., marks the starting point of this year’s Peace Walk, at 5 p.m. Participants will stop briefly near Christ Church, whose block remains closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Half an hour later, the Peace Walk will reach Dawood Mosque at 143 State St., before proceding to Brooklyn Heights Synagogue at 131 Remsen St., and Plymouth Church at 75 Hicks St. The group will also visit the Middagh Street Firehouse and meet the firefighters at Engine Company 205/Hook and Ladder Company 118 there.

The Peace Walk concludes on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where participants are scheduled to join an interfaith service that the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association has sponsored for a number of years. Rabbi Lippmann confirmed to the Brooklyn Eagle that the start time for the Promenade service, at the Montague Street entrance, had been moved to 7:30 p.m., to accommodate the Peace Walks schedule.

Each clergy member or lay leader from the houses of worship in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Downtown Brooklyn are invited to bring a prayer, in any language, from his or her own religious tradition, to be read, chanted or sung aloud to memorialize those who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Rabbi Serge Lippe of Brooklyn Heights Synagogue pointed out that the purpose of the service is to honor the dead, so there will be no speeches, nor any remarks from candidates for political office.

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