Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for May 24

May 24, 2018 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dr. Elan Ezrachi will discuss the relationship world Jewry and Israel at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue on June 7.  Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.
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Discussion at Heights Synagogue To Examine Israel on its 70th Birthday

Jerusalem-based consultant Elan Ezrachi will discuss the relationship that Israel on its 70th birthday has with Jews worldwide, in a forum that the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue holds on June 7.

The state of Israel marked its 70th birthday this spring, marking both the Hebrew and English dates. It became an independent Jewish state in on 5 Iyyar, 5708, which in 1948 fell on May 14 — thus, the English anniversary date. This year, 5 Iyyar occurred on April 20.

Ezrachi is a Jerusalem-based independent consultant who specializes in “Effective Partnerships in Today’s Jewish World.” Born and raised in Jerusalem, he served for six years in the Israeli Air Force as a helicopter pilot.

He then pursued a career in Jewish education, receiving his bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in education and Jewish thought. He earned his doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. His dissertation topic was: “The Dynamics of interaction between American Jews and Israelis.”

Ezrachi is an active player in the Israeli Jewish Renaissance scene and was the founding chair of Panim—for Jewish Renaissance in Israel. He is married to Rabbi Naamah Kelman and a father of three.

Ezrachi has served in various executive roles including director of the International Department of Melitz–Center for Jewish Zionist education, director of the Charles Bronfman Mifgashim Center, executive director of Masa–Israel Journey, and director of the International School for Jerusalem Studies at Yad Ben-Zvi.

Ezrachi’s June 7 address is titled “Relations between Israel and World Jewry after 70 Years of Israel’s Existence: challenges and prospect.” The program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (131 Remsen St.). RSVP to [email protected] to receive reading material for the lecture and discussion.

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Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir Joins Community HOPE Day Outreach

Saturday, June 2 will be HOPE Day—a free community festival in Crown Heights.

Producing HOPE Day is the international nonprofit organization Convoy of Hope, which works in partnership with churches, businesses, community organizations and individuals, with a goal of changing the world for the better, one person at a time.

Hosting the daylong festival is the Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, at 1200 Dean St. between Nostrand and New York avenues. While the festival is now in its seventh  year, it welcomes new faith-based organizations, including the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, which was founded in 2010 and has performed around Brooklyn on television, and around the world. The ensemble won first place in the 2011 Lift Every Voice Gospel Competition. In 2014, BIC brought home second-prize honors at the International Verona Choral Competition in Italy, and performed at the  Samaa International Festival of Peace. in Cairo, Egypt later that year at the invitation of the U.S. State Department. Last year, they completed a five-city tour in China.

BIC’S founding director, Pastor Frank Haye, told INBrooklyn that the festival, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. is possible through the Hope Day Network in various locations throughout New York City. HOPE “seeks to unite, empower, and transform churches, businesses, communities, and neighborhood friends, so that all people experience hope and the love of God. Activities include Kids Zone, lunch, grocery product giveaways,  live entertainment, community and health services, family portraits, basketball tournament, art zone, and interactive games.”

However, the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir’s ministry expands beyond its performances.  BIC’s community outreach has included ZUMBA fitness classes, as well as classes in vocal performance, music theory, ear training, master  classes, and private music lessons.

HOPE Day will offer a Kids Zone, lunch, live entertainment, community and health services, family portraits, basketball, an Art Zone & interactive games.

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Brooklyn Author Gary Morgenstein Launches His 5th Novel, Marrying Religion and Baseball

Readers who are into dystopian novels with faith-based and sports angles can celebrate the latest work by Brooklyn author Gary Morgenstein.

Morgenstein’s provocative new science fiction-baseball novel, “A Mound Over Hell,” is set in 2098, following America’s defeat by Islam in World War III — as baseball begins its final season ever.

The plot and setting: America, rising out of the ashes, has created a new society based on love and ethics, led by Grandma, head of The Family. In this society, all acts of patriotism, from flying the flag to singing the National Anthem, are illegal. Social media has been banned under the Anti-Narcissism Laws. Religion, which is associated with Islam, is also illegal. This is now a nation where children are revered; abortion and the use of contraceptives are capital offenses along with pedophilia. And the Anti-Parasite Laws I and II have banned banks, lawyers, psychologists and the entertainment industry.

As “A Mound Over Hell” opens, baseball is a sport now identified with treason. It is being played in battered Amazon Stadium, which was formerly Yankee Stadium—the only remaining ballpark. Then, just as the sport is declared dead, everything changes. Infused by the miraculous appearance of great players from the past, baseball regains its popularity, only to become a pawn between those who want peace and those who want another war.

This book is part of Morgenstein’s new Dark Depths series. His other novels include “Jesse’s Girl”; “Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman”; “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees.” Morgenstern is also a playwright, including of the critically-acclaimed off-Broadway rock musical “The Anthem,” and the musical “Mad Mel Saves the World.”

Morgenstein has lived in Windsor Terrace since 1983. He held a book signing at the Bookmark Shoppe in Bay Ridge, and the title is available through Amazon.

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The Pulpit in Brooklyn’s History Clergy Offer Their Thoughts On the New Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Eagle’s religion page of Monday, May 21, 1883 offered a sampling of sermons preached on the Brooklyn Bridge which was set to open that week.

The Rev. John W. Chadwick, then pastor of the Second Unitarian Church (which was at Clinton and Congress streets), said, “Should any one suggest that the completed bridge is a topic so concrete and secular as to be foreign to the legitimate scope of Sunday preaching I might, perhaps, remind him that the most conspicuous personage in the organized religion of the world, the Pope of Rome, is entitled Pontifex Maximus, the chief bridge builder, and that this title is itself a bridge which connects the earliest with the latest history of Rome. Its complete perfection justifies the labor and the cost, the years it has been building seem but few for such a grand result, the bickerings of the commissioners and politicians die away into to an inappreciable hum…” A check of a Latin grammar book shows Pastor Chadwick’s statement to have been correct.

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The Brooklyn Eagle reported also that The Rev. Dr. D.C. Eddy, D.D., recently from a church in Boston, from where he was widely-respected, “preached to a large audience last evening at the First Baptist Church, South Fifth and Fifth Streets, on the “City of Brooklyn—Its Growth, Present Condition and Future Prospects.” The Eagle reporter synopsized Dr. Eddy’s sermon: “A resident of Brooklyn…can record himself with Paul of Tarsus as a citizen of ‘no mean city.’ He need not be ashamed to tell where he lives. He has a right to feel a pride in the city of his abode. In its government, its culture and its religious institutions, Brooklyn will bear favorably with any city in the land.”



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