Brooklyn Boro

Faith In Brooklyn for December 5: Brooklyn’s interfaith community again rallies around church whose statues were vandalized

December 5, 2018 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Andrew Oshevsky is accused of breaking this statue and one other after urinating on the angels outside a Williamsburg church. Photo courtesy of the NYPD

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined Jewish and Muslim leaders outside the 90th Precinct station house in Williamsburg to announce their joint contribution of funds for the restoration of two angel statues in front of Our Lady of Consolation Roman Catholic Church that were vandalized early Sunday morning.

The vandalism (urination on) and destruction of the statues was caught by security cameras and is currently being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force.

These same statues were replaced only two years ago after vandals tipped them over. Sunday’s incident was reportedly the sixth time in eight years that the church has been desecrated. Many of the parishioners are Polish immigrants who live near the house of worship,

Joining the borough president were Monsignor Kieran Harrington, vicar of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn; Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis; Evan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey; and Pakistani American Youth Society co-founder Kashif Hussain.

Adams urged the public to assist NYPD in apprehending the suspect responsible for the church vandalism. He also denounced the recent increase in acts of hate that have impacted Williamsburg as well as the entire borough.

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‘The Power of Eternity’ Expressed through Music

A winter program titled “Celestial” offers songs exploring the power of eternity and the refuge of an afterlife.

The Accord Treble Choir will present “Celestial” on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m. at the Old First Reformed Church at 729 Carroll St. in Park Slope. Ron Sklar, in his church website blog article, describes the program.

“Across centuries, cultures and religions, human beings have stood in awe of the heavens,” he writes. “And music has given voice to anticipation — both stoic and joyful — of what lies beyond this world.

“Contemporary settings of Latin prayers, including a tribute to Sept. 11 victims, call for the soul’s safe passage, while a group of beloved American hymns (including two arrangements by Accord members and another by Anonymous 4) boldly welcome the adventure to the great beyond,” Sklar continued.

Old First Church’s Pastor Daniel Meeter says of the Accord Treble Choir, “This group is important for Arts at Old First,” says. “We have hosted them for five or six years now, and they love to sing in our upper hall. They have a remarkable and unique sound: All women’s voices, in a small ensemble, perfectly tuned, singing challenging pieces ancient, classical, modern and contemporary, in many languages.”

Accord Choir specializes in diverse languages and traditions, and performs “Paallanda,” an improvisational piece of Indian classical music called a raga, from an ancient Tamil devotional prayer asking Vishnu for divine protection.

Another program highlight is an original composition, “Interim,” by Accord member Amy Joscelyn, setting a poem by early 20th-century activist-poet Lola Ridge about nature on the cusp of dramatic change.

Suggested donation $15/$5 (seniors and students). RSVP on Facebook.

A wine and cheese reception will follow.

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Exhibit Launch at Children’s Museum Explores Chance of Jewish Life in Space

This Wednesday night, Dec. 5, children can celebrate “Hanukkah on Mars.”

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum will launch an original art exhibit, with multimedia exploration of Jewish life on Mars.

As a part of Tech Tribe’s multimedia exploration of Jewish life in space (www.seejewsinspace.com), the launch party, starting at 6 p.m. will be held for Brooklyn-based artist Nitzan Bartov’s original art exploring the theme of Jewish life on Mars program will include Hanukkah treats, an augmented reality menorah, drinks and a GIF photobooth.

“For nearly 2,000 years, Judaism has served as a portable culture, taken and practiced through the diverse wanderings of the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, founder of Tech Tribe (www.mytechtribe.org), a Chabad-Lubavitch-affiliated organization for Jews working in tech and digital media, and event host. “Jews in Space uses this history as a backdrop to ask, ‘What will Jewish life look like in space? How will our traditions, values and observances transfer to a new planet? Most importantly, what lessons can Jews living in Brooklyn learn and apply to their lives?”

The event will feature a talk with Bartov and Miriam Kramer, science editor at Mashable, followed by a menorah lighting.

The celebration has added significance as it will take place on Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday commemorating the triumph of Jewish identity in the face of adversity. As they celebrate the triumph of the past, Jews in Space will explore the challenges the future may hold for Jewish identity as humanity expands beyond the home planet earth.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is located at 145 Brooklyn Ave. Admission at the door is $21. RSVP is necessary to: www.seejewsinspace.com/chanukah, https://twitter.com/mytechtribe.