Faith In Brooklyn for November 8: ‘#ShowUpForShabbat’ packs several Brooklyn synagogues
A number of Brooklyn synagogues hosted #ShowUpForShabbat, in which Jews welcomed family, friends and neighbors from the interfaith community to their Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services.
#ShowUpForShabbat was a response to recent acts of vandalism against the synagogues’ sister congregations and neighborhoods. Locals who participated in the ShowUpForShabbat liturgies at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue and Congregation Mount Sinai report that attendance was packed.
Meanwhile, there were new developments in the vandalism cases. Based on surveillance tapes at the Union Temple, last Friday morning, Nov. 2, police apprehended the man they believe scrawled “Die Jew Rats,” “Hitler,” “End It Now” and “Jew Better Be Ready” in marker on its walls.
Police had already taken the suspect into custody Friday morning, prior to the start of the Jewish sabbath, which begins at sundown on Fridays. The suspect was apprehended at the scene of a fire that had been set inside the coat room of Yeshiva Beth Hillel of Williamsburg.
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Episcopal, Roman Catholic Bishops Call On Their Flocks To Be Compassionate
Last week, the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn published pastoral letters regarding the recent shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, and acts of vandalism against Jews in Brooklyn, as well as the then-upcoming elections and national political climate.
The Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, the Episcopal Bishop of a diocese that includes Brooklyn and Queens, addressed the anti-Semitic attacks. His letter reads,
“Last week there was the horrendous anti-Semitic attack on worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. Today [Friday, Nov. 2] there is news of several Brooklyn synagogues and Jewish schools being attacked by an arsonist and Union Temple vandalized by graffiti—additional ugly displays of evil that appear to be on the increase in our nation.
“To counter this evil, I call on the priests and deacons of our diocese and the people of each of our congregations to be the personal, outward and visible expressions of God’s goodness for our Jewish sisters and brothers whose lives and worship are being silenced, threatened or disrupted.
“Synagogues across the country are calling on congregants and faith allies to #ShowUpForShabbat this weekend. Let us respond to that call—to show up and stand up to hate and bigotry, to courageously express our solidarity and love in the face of these ongoing acts of hate.
“Acts of love must answer acts of hate. Some of our parishes have already reached out to their nearby synagogues and rabbi colleagues and I commend them and bless them for their faithfulness.
“The example of Jesus in the Gospel and our baptismal covenant to respect the dignity of every human being call us to act in love and respect and in solidarity with our Jewish siblings and neighbors across Long Island and Brooklyn.”
Bishop Provenzano indicated that his vicar for community justice ministry, the Rev. Marie Tatro, is also coordinating the diocese’s response to this crisis.
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Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, in his Nov. 7 column “Put Out Into the Deep,” had gone to press before election results were in. But he chose to address the national mood in a column titled ‘The Dangers of Populist Nationalism.”
DiMarzio pointed out that Populist Nationalism aims to instill fear in the hearts of citizens against people who are different from themselves. Describing a recent Vatican conference on Xenophobia, racism and populist nationalism, DiMarzio said, “Populist Nationalism is a political strategy that seeks to rely on and promote the fears of individuals and groups in order to assert the need for an authoritarian political power to protect the interests of the dominant social or ethnic group established on a particular territory. It is in the name of this ‘protection’ that populist leaders justify the refusal to offer refuge, to receive and to integrate individuals or groups from other countries or different cultural or religious contexts.”
DiMarzio touched on several issues at the forefront of the news, including the caravan of refugees, birthright citizenship and public charge (assistance programs for the needy).
“The United States is bound by both federal and international law not to expel or return a refugee whose life or freedom would be threatened on account of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
DiMarzio wrote, “As Christians and Catholics, we must support fundamental human rights, and we must reject populist initiatives that are incompatible with Gospel values. This should inspire our participation in political life and political discourse. We need to understand our fundamental choices when it comes to choosing our elected officials who need to defend life at all stages of existence from conception to natural death.”
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Chabad-Lubavitch Leaders Worldwide Gather in Crown Heights for Conference
Last week’s annual gathering in Crown Heights of more than five thousand Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis from around the world this year was somber. A rabbinical delegation from Pittsburgh led the group in prayer and solemn song to mourn the those who were brutally murdered in an anti-Semitic shooting eight days before.
Emissaries from Pittsburgh had spent the Shabbat with overflowing congregations in synagogues and on college campuses back home before traveling to New York.
Attending were 5,600 rabbis and communal leaders from 100 countries and 50 U.S. states, according to an email from a Chabad spokesperson. They were all visiting New York for the annual event, which is aimed at strengthening Jewish awareness and practice around the world.
The assembly then posed for the annual group picture of International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries taken in front of Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters in Brooklyn. This year’s gathering comes only days after the anti-Semitic shooting in Pittsburgh which has been a focal point of the conference.
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Brooklynite Tapped As Interim CEO Of Historic Collegiate Churches
Prospect Heights resident Daniel J. (Dan) Lehman has been named the interim CEO of the Collegiate Churches of New York, which he joined last month.
Established in 1628, the Collegiate Churches of New York have old, deep roots in a great city, yet have also embraced a thoroughly modern perspective on spirituality and community in a greater world.
Founded in the tradition of Reformed Protestantism, Collegiate responds to the spiritual needs of people today by embracing diversity, affirmation, openness and justice.
Collegiate defines itself as “a single historic church with five city-wide ministries—four churches and one outreach ministry called Intersections International. Each is unique in approach and character, but unified in our core values of inclusion, self-exploration and positive thinking. As a spiritual community we encourage people to search, discover and flourish.”
As a government and nonprofit executive and leader, Lehman offers a wide range of strategic planning, organizational development and operations management skills along with a deep commitment to improving the lives of others.
Prior to joining Collegiate, Lehman served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Children’s Aid New York. He has experience in public health and social services with the city of New York, and in health care and information technology consulting.
He began his career with MDRC in New York, analyzing the effectiveness of welfare-to-work and employment-training programs prior to the passage of federal welfare reform legislation in 1996.
Lehman holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics & East Asian Studies from Harvard University.
A native of Duxbury, Mass., Lehman is married with two children.
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Milestones in Eagle History
Jewish Leaders Urge US To Prevent Spread of Fascism
The Brooklyn Eagle of November 10, 1938 reported that several church and veterans groups would be marking the 20th anniversary of Armistice Day, which ended “The Great War” on Nov. 11, 1918.
However, against the backdrop of these celebrations was Kristallnacht, unfolding in Europe just as an author’s program was underway at the Flatbush Jewish Men’s Club.
Kristallnacht — “Night of the Broken Glass” — refers to a series of destructive pogroms against Jewish citizens and businesses around Europe which took place overnight Nov. 9-10, 1938.
As that attack unfolded, author Ludwig Lore was delivering a prophetic message in Brooklyn to the Flatbush men’s group of 200 attendees, declaring that a war for real democracy against Fascism “is better than a peace without honor.
“There can be no peace between Fascism and democracy,” Lore said. “There must at some time be a conflict between the two forces. War can be avoided only if all democracies and anti-Fascist nations unite in a firm stand.”