Adams receives MLK Award from Israel
Borough president cited for bringing people together
Eric Adams, the first African-American to serve as Brooklyn borough president, was honored by the government of Israel, which presented him with its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Award in a ceremony at half-court at Barclays Center before the Brooklyn Nets-Los Angeles Clippers game Monday night.
Ambassador Ido Aharoni, the Israeli consul general in New York, presented the award to Adams, praising the borough president’s efforts to build bridges between Brooklyn residents of all races and nationalities.
“BP Adams has dedicated his work to building bridges between peoples of all walks of life, upholding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Aharoni said. “The people of Israel take pride in being the only nation outside of the United States to acknowledge Martin Luther King Day, and value our shared mission to fight against hatred and racism.”
Russell Robinson, executive vice president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), and Hindy Poupko, managing director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY), also took part in the presentation. The Martin Luther King Jr. Award is jointly presented by the State of Israel, JNF and JCRC-NY.
The ceremony took place in celebration of Black History Month, which began Feb. 1.
Bruce Ratner, the majority owner of Barclays Center, and Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, were on hand at center court to congratulate Adams.
“As the first African-American to have the honor to serve as Brooklyn borough president, I stand on the shoulders of giants like Dr. King and the trailblazers of the civil rights movement,” Adams said. “My public service is committed to furthering his legacy, advancing the welfare of every member of our human race. I thank Ambassador Aharoni, along with my friends at the JCRB-NY and JNF, for this recognition that underscores my bond with Israel and with the Jewish people of Brooklyn and beyond.”
Since 1991, the consul general of Israel in New York together with JCRC-NY and JNF has paid tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by presenting an award in his name.
Past recipients have included U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel; U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries; former mayor David Dinkins; jazz artist Lionel Hampton; author Toni Morrison; opera singer Jessye Norman; entrepreneur and philanthropist Russell Simmons; musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.
“For over two decades we have had the privilege of recognizing leaders whose lives and work embody the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Rabbi Michael S. Miller, CEO and executive vice president of JCRC-NY. “Our honoree this year, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, truly exemplifies Rev. King’s values and is a most worthy recipient of this accolade.”
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