Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for Sept. 6

September 6, 2017 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio lights the torches of leaders of the procession routes following a December 2015 Mass honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe and celebrating the heritage of Mexican-American immigrants. DiMarzio has been a strong advocate for Brooklyn’s immigrant community and its needs. Eagle file photo by Francesca N. Tate

Bishop DiMarzio: Dreamers ‘Are Contributing to Our Society’

Leader of Brooklyn’s Roman Catholics Makes Statement on DACA Decision

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, which is known for its ethnic richness, issued a statement on Wednesday about the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA protection program. DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, offers protections to children of people who came to the U.S. illegally or who overstayed their visas. DiMarzio argues that sending back those who have known America as their only home would be cruel and would jeopardize their futures.

“Today my prayers are with the young undocumented people in our diocese who now face an uncertain future due to the Trump administration’s decision to formally end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. We are disappointed with the president’s decision to end DACA, as there are many undocumented Dreamers in our diocese who have now lost their sense of security in the only country they know to be home.

The Obama-era program had shielded young undocumented immigrants, a group called Dreamers, from deportation. It was their parents who first dreamt of a life in America with the opportunity to find jobs, and secure a solid education for their children. Now those children brought to the U.S. by their parents, through no fault of their own, face deportation to countries to which they feel no connection. They only know America as their home.

“And, make no mistake, these young people are contributing to our society. A paper released last year by the Center for Migration Studies of New York found 90% of DACA recipients are employed, and more than 90 percent have at least a high school degree.

“The Trump administration has now given Congress a window of six months to replace the DACA program with legislation or else it will end on March 5, 2018. So today, we stand with the Dreamers, and we call on Congress to come up with a legislative alternative that provides protection for them.

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Also weighing in on Tuesday’s DACA decision were Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and B’nai B’rith International’s President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin.

Rabbi Pesner wrote, “As Jews, our people have known the experience of being ‘strangers in strange lands.’ Our past reminds us of the struggles faced by so many immigrants today. Because of this history, Judaism demands that we welcome the stranger and compels us to work for a just immigration system. It is imperative that Congress step up in support of these young people who grew up in the United States and who want to give back to the only country they know as home.”

Saltzman and Mariaschin wrote, “B’nai B’rith calls on Congress to provide permanent legal status for those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation. Today’s order by the administration on DACA underscores the urgent need for a bipartisan legislative solution to the precarious status of America’s “dreamers” — the 800,000 undocumented immigrants who grew up in the United States, earned educations here and in most cases are working and contributing to our economy.

“It is simply wrong that these young people, who came to this country because of a decision made by their parents and have become productive members of American society, should live in fear of their status. To deport them to countries that are unfamiliar to them and to which they have little connection is unthinkable.

Calling on Congress and the Trump administration to work together for a “just and equitable solution” so that Dreamers can obtain permanent legal status, the B’nai Brith leaders declared, “B’nai B’rith has long supported legislation that would protect the dreamers, a population that is American in every sense except on paper.”

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Brooklyn Heights Congregations Hold Diaper Drive for Texas Hurricane Victims

The congregations of Brooklyn Heights are participating in a joint outreach to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Faith leaders sent out an announcement that was published in the digital newsletters of several congregations, including Congregation Mount Sinai, the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, Church of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity and Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights just before the Labor Day weekend.

“We are called to respond in love to those in Southeastern Texas who have been so deeply and terribly affected by Hurricane Harvey. Noting that most relief agencies do not provide a much-needed item — diapers — the interfaith group is collecting and donating diapers to the Texas Diaper Bank.

Specifically requested are diapers sized 4, 5 and 6 and adult diapers sizes M/L or L/XL, as well as wipes. St. Ann’s parish continues to collect diapers coming through Thursday Sept. 7 from noon to 3p.m., and again on Sunday, Sept. 10. Call the church office at 718-875-6960 for more information.

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Interfaith Service on Promenade Will Mark 16th Anniversary of Sept. 11 Terror Attacks

During the hours and days that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, the borough’s many faith communities gathered on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, with a view of Lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center’s twin towers stood, for prayers and readings from Holy Scriptures. (Two years ago during inclement weather, Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights hosted the service.)

All are invited to gather on Monday, Sept. 11, 6:30- 7 p.m., to mark the 16th anniversary of the terror attacks on this city and nation. Members of Brooklyn Heights’ houses of worship and neighbors in our community will participate in a prayer service. The observance takes place at the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade.

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Brooklyn’s First Italian Roman Catholic Parish Honors St. Mary and the Customs of Mola di Bari

Each year, on the second Sunday of September, Brooklyn’s first Italian Roman Catholic Parish host the Congrega Maria S.S. Addolorata and the people of Mola Di Bari as they honor the feast of their hometown patron saint with a procession and Mass.

The procession honors the Mother of Sorrows (Mary as she observes her son Jesus’ ministry and death on the cross for humankind’s’ salvation.) The observance of Mother of Sorrows falls on Sept. 15, but Carroll Gardens marks it on the second Sunday of that month. Sometimes, as it did last year, the procession coincides with Sept. 11, and then both are observed.

The procession and Mass are also part of a major cultural festival, and are the largest such events held outside of Mola di Bari in southeastern Italy since 1948. The statue of Our Lady of Sorrows is carried from the church and brought through the streets of Carroll Gardens upon the shoulders of the faithful. An Italian marching band accompanies the worshipers, as men and women devoted to St. Mary walk through the neighborhood stopping for food and drink. This year’s procession begins at 4 p.m. in front of Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s Church at Hicks and Summit streets. An Italian-language Mass follows at 7 p.m.

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Forum Addresses Need to Reform America’s Criminal Justice System

The next Forum @ St. Ann’s will focus on what is widely believed to be this nation’s broken criminal justice system.

The Forum @ St. Ann’s and Dear America present “From the Inside Out: America’s Broken Criminal Justice System on Saturday, Sept. 16, 3 p.m. The church is at Clinton and Montague streets.

The forum will bring in speakers Yusef Salaam, activist and 1/5 of the Central Park 5; Marlon Peterson, founder of The Precedential Group and host of the Decarcerated Podcast; Heather Ann Thompson, 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner for “Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971”; and James Forman Jr., former public defender and author of “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.”

The organizers say that the U.S. incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. The increase in the jail and prison population has risen from fewer than 200,000 in 1972 to a staggering 2.2 million today. The panel of activists and authors will address how the U.S. has arrived at this point and ways to reform the criminal justice system.

Dear America is a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for artists of all genres to express their vision of America. Public programs and events held across the U.S. that encourages a dialogue to help unite us as a country.

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The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative will have a strong presence at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, Sept. 17, as three of its founding members have recently released new titles.

Author and professor Joe Dorinson will be showcasing his new book “Kvetching and Spritzing: Jewish Humor in American Popular Culture.”  Ellen Levitt will talk about her book “Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn.” Sarina Roffé will introduce fairgoers to her work, 17 years in the making, titled “Branching Out From Sepharad.” She will also have available her cookbook “Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads.”

After 15 years of research, Sarina Roffé has completed “Branching Out From Sepharad” (New York: Sephardic Heritage Project, 2017). Dedicated to her grandparents, Joe and Frieda Missry, Roffé outlines the global journey of selected rabbinic families from Iberia to Syria to the Americas.

“Branching Out From Sepharad” outlines the history of Jews in Spain, the 1492 Expulsion, the history of Jews in Syria, and follows them to the Americas. Biographies and genealogies of rabbinic families include the Kassins and Labatons, as neighbors in Vallodlid, and Hedayas, as well as genealogies of their related families (Attia, Dabah, Mizrahi). The book is footnoted and can be used as a research source.

The book traces 3 rabbinical dynasties and provides an overview history of Jews from Spain to Aleppo and follows them to America.

Visit the BJHI Table at the

The BJHI will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Booth 101 (Cadman Plaza W and Johnston Street) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17.