Faith In Brooklyn for July 17

July 17, 2013 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Interfaith Clergy Group Endorses Eric Adams for Borough President

Leaders representing Brooklyn’s many diverse faith communities gathered today on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall to endorse New York State Senator Eric Adams’ candidacy for Borough President.

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The interfaith group included the leaders of large and small congregations and organizations, prominent Brooklyn faith leaders, neighborhood pastors and clergy from the Christian tradition, imams—leaders of prayer at mosques—and rabbis.

“Senator Eric Adams has distinguished himself as a leader of all the people,” said the Reverend Dr. Cheryl Anthony, Senior Servant of JUDAH International Christian Center and president of Women of Faith Advocating for Change. “As a product of this great borough, he has first-hand knowledge of the complexities and challenges our varied cultures, ethnicities. Senator Adams’s keen insight into solving challenges and creating solutions will go a long way in leading the borough of Kings.”

Rabbi Moishe Indig said, “We are united together to endorse and elect the greatest candidate for the greatest people from the greatest borough of Brooklyn, Senator Eric Adams.”

“Today we stand with a man we believe represents neutrality and fairness for our diverse ethnic population in the City of Brooklyn,” said Bishop Eric D. Garnes, Presiding Prelate at the United Covenant Churches of Christ. “He’s a man of faith and strongly pledges to build fair representation among our communities.” Likewise, said, the Rev. Ayana Vason, senior pastor at Ebenezer Christian Church, “Senator Eric Adams is the best for Brooklyn.”

Mt. Zion Church of God’s Pastor Gil Monrose said, “Senator Adams for many years has been in the forefront of the issues of crime and gun violence in Brooklyn. Every time the clergy called on Senator Eric Adams, he never hesitated to stand with us against the criminal elements. Brooklyn needs Eric Adams.”

The Rev. Dr. Frank Mason, senior pastor of Christ Temple United Baptist Church and president of the Coney Island Ministerial Alliance, said, “I am honored to be standing here today endorsing Eric Adams as the next Borough President of Brooklyn. The compassionate support that he showed during and continuously since Superstorm Sandy hit our coastline has been more than remarkable. The physical and emotional assistance that he provided to us during this most difficult time has strengthened us to stand and rebuild. He is a champion of the storm and will be a great leader of this borough.”

“Senator Eric Adams is a great leader with a prophetic voice of change for our borough of Brooklyn,” said the Rev. Glenmore Bembry, senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church. “He leads by example and has the heart of the people in his heart.”

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, Assistant Rabbi of the Chabad Russian community in Brooklyn, said, “With an impressive background in the police force, he is very aware that the best way to fight crime is preventive medicine—through proper education,” said “As a state senator, he makes a point to hand out ‘citations’ to students graduating the school system, showing a personal interest in the development of our children. We are confident he will be able to carry this and achieve so much more in the capacity of a Borough President.”

“I am truly humbled by the strength and support of these wonderful men and women—community and religious leaders who have dedicated themselves to Brooklyn as well as their faiths,” said Sen. Adams.

Moreover, Adams has gained the support of more than 40 elected officials in his run for Borough President, including current Borough President Marty Markowitz and previous BP Howard Golden. The Working Families Party also recently endorsed him, as did several locals of unions and professional associations.

State Senator Eric Adams has spent the last thirty years serving the people of Brooklyn, the borough where he was raised and continues to live. Throughout his career, he has partnered with labor, business and government to strengthen the lives of working people and the middle class. He’s been a leader on workers’ rights, economic growth, good government and public safety. Adams is a former NYC Transit Police Department and NYPD officer, retiring from the force as a captain to become a state senator in 2006. He received his master’s degree in Public Administration from Marist College and is a graduate of New York City Technical College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and was re-elected to a fourth term in the New York State Senate last November.
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BP Candidate Eric Adams Decries Zimmerman Acquittal

Two days after Sen. Eric Adams received the clergy endorsements, he issued a statement about the George Zimmerman acquittal just a couple of hours after the jury rendered its verdict.

“Justice was not served in Florida today—not for the family of Trayvon Martin nor for Americans who believe everyone in this country—regardless of skin color—has a right to safety, peace and respect in their community. We feel this ruling all the way up here in Brooklyn, where this poisonous culture of bias has infected our own system of justice, and the basic rights of black and Latino young men are violated on a daily basis. Laws like Stand Your Ground and the abuse of Stop and Frisk take us backward, and will only lead to more tragedies like Trayvon Martin. We must learn from this outrage and make changes now. That is how Trayvon will ultimately get the justice he deserves.”

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Brooklyn Faith Community Holds Candidates’ Forum

Brooklyn Congregations United holds a Candidates’ Forum this Sunday, July 21 with candidates for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, Brooklyn district attorney, Brooklyn borough president and Council District 40. The forum will be hosted at the Flatbush Reformed Church’s auditorium, 890 Flatbush Avenue near Church Ave.

Brooklyn Congregations United is a non-profit coalition of faith-based groups and individuals from Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions which works on issues of social change.

Last week, clergy and community leaders met to finalize plans for the Candidates Forum, which is the second one for Brooklyn Congregations United. Four years ago, BCU had welcomed the candidates for mayor. More than 400 clergy and community members attended that 2009 forum, which was hosted at Our Lady of Refuge Church.

During last week’s planning meeting, political science Professor Mike Racioppo offered political analysis of the election landscape. Fannie Conner from the League of Women Voters provided voter registration training to prepare congregations and other groups to conduct voter registration events leading up to the election.

Community leaders discussed issues to be brought before the candidates at the July 21 forum. Topics include public safety, housing, education, healthcare, immigration, seniors and youth. The forum will run from 4 to 7 p.m.

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Brooklyn Museum Program On African-American Heritage Teaches Preservation Methods

Plymouth Church will take part in a Smithsonian-sponsored program on preserving African-American heritage at the Brooklyn Museum this weekend.

A group from Plymouth, including Director of History Ministry Services Lois Rosebrooks, will be at this special event, titled “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation.” The Plymouth delegation will answer questions and distribute materials about the historic congregation’s abolitionist heritage and its archives.

Part of the program is dedicated to helping Brooklyn residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in attics, closets, and basements, according to the Brooklyn Museum’s website,  The event features presentations, hands-on activities and preservation tips. Participants may bring up to three personal items, such as family photographs and papers, for a 15-minute, professional consultation with experts on the proper care of these artifacts. Specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will not determine items’ monetary value. Objects such as books, papers, ceramics and textiles that are no larger than a shopping bag can be reviewed. (Furniture, carpets, firearms and paintings are excluded).

Participants will also have the chance to gain hands-on experience in proper preparation and packing of letters, garments, and photographs for preservation, storage, and presentation. The daylong program, on Saturday, July 20, runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Plymouth’s History Ministry Offers Free Sunday Tours

Plymouth Church offers free tours every Sunday after the worship service. Those interested are invited to meet at the Lincoln Pew (No. 89) in the sanctuary. During July and August, when worship begins at 10 a.m., the tours commence at 11:15 a.m. Readers interested in Plymouth’s heritage may contact Lois Rosebrooks, Director of History Ministry Services, at the church office: 718-624-4743.

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Milestones in Faith:

Henry Ward Beecher, Part II

Recently, Faith in Brooklyn saluted the Bicentennial of Henry Ward Beecher’s birthday, June 24, 1813, picturing one of the two statues of that can be found in Brooklyn Heights and the downtown civic center.

Beecher, who was called as the first pastor of Plymouth Church, founded in 1847, became one of America’s most famous preachers and orators. He dramatically built Plymouth’s membership, filling the Meeting House to overflow with his powerful preaching and dramatic opposition to slavery. According to the history web page on Plymouth Church’s site,, Beecher was “a master at creating public events to strengthen the fight against slavery. He staged mock ‘auctions’ at Plymouth, urging the congregation to purchase the freedom of actual slaves. During one service, he trampled the chains that had bound John Brown. He invited famous anti-slavery advocates to speak at the Church, including William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner and Frederick Douglass.” Beecher inspired Plymouth to create deep bonds with the Underground Railroad–the clandestine network of people who helped slaves escape to the North and Canada.  Plymouth thus became known as “Grand Central Depot.” To this day, Plymouth Church maintains its commitment to abolishing modern-day forms of slavery, such as sex trafficking.
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Musician Newsmakers

Jazz Camp Ensemble Will Perform Work by Prolific Brooklyn Composer

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation Jazz Summer Camp is to perform Eugene Marlow’s piece, “Let There Be Swing.”

Dr. Eugene Marlow is a composer, arranger and leader of The Heritage Ensemble, which has performed many times in Brooklyn and in venues around New York City. The Heritage Ensemble performs regularly at the Nyorican Poets Café in the Lower East Side.

Jackie Harris, Director of Special Projects & New Orleans Representative for the foundation, heard a performance of this work by the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of seven-time Grammy nominee Maestro Bobby Sanabria. Maestro Sanabria is the 2013 Jazz Journalists Association “Percussionist of the Year,” and the drummer in Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble.

Upon hearing “Let There Be Swing,” Ms. Harris told Dr. Marlow, “I just loved it.”

The performance of “Let There Be Swing,” a composition for big band, takes place this Friday, July 19, at Loyola University in New Orleans.

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc. was founded and funded by Louis Armstrong in 1969 to give back to the world “some of the goodness he received.”
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Composer Marlow Presents At Aspen Composers Conference

Next month, Dr. Eugene Marlow will give a presentation at the 15th Annual Aspen Composers Conference on “Morphing Hebraic Melodies into Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and Brazilian Styles.” The conference is being held at the famed Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado.

The August 5 talk marks Dr. Marlow’s fourth presentation at the Aspen Composers Conference. Previously, he has spoken about his research into the evolution of jazz in China in the 20th century. The 31-chapter, 160,000-word book is titled Jazz in the Land of the Dragon. He has also lectured on his jazz in China research for the Jazz Education Network, the Jazz Journalists Association, and the New York Composers Circle.

This coming October, the Heritage Ensemble will give its 3rd Annual “Celebration of Brooklyn” concert.

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Rabbi Seth Wax Joins Staff Of Congregation Mount Sinai

Congregation Mount Sinai welcomes Rabbi Seth Wax, who has joined the synagogue full-time and will be working with Senior Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Mt. Sinai’s longtime spiritual leader.

Rabbi Wax, who has served as Mt. Sinai’s rabbinic intern for the past year, was ordained at Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, Mass. in June.
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B’nai Avraham’s Sisterhood Offers Program on Importance of Mikvah

Congregation B’nai Avraham’s Sisterhood offers a “Spiritual Oasis in the Desert of Our Lives.”

The Sisterhood offers this program for women and couples on the significance of the mikvah, a ritual bath that is used for purification. The Mei Menachem Mitzvah opened in 2000 and is open, by appointment, to women, according to the commandment to purify oneself following a menstrual period. The mikvah is open to men only in preparation for Yom Kippur, according to the synagogue’s website. However, the Spiritual Oasis event, on Tuesday, July 23, is open to both genders to give insight on the importance of the mikvah, particularly in a marriage.

The program begins with a 7 p.m. buffet and 8 p.m. presentation. The guest speaker is Sarah Esther Crispe, and the event will honor Naomi Weinberger and Natalie Botton Buchwald. Admission is $54/person; $100 per couple. RSVP to the synagogue at 718-596-4840, ext. 19.

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