‘Obama rabbi ‘ to keynote MLK celebration in Newark

Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr., a first cousin of First Lady Michelle Obama and the country’s best known African-American rabbi will lead an interfaith celebration of life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Newark, on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m. (doors open at 1:30).

“Dr. Martin Luther Kind, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel – Awakening New Dreamers: Race, Religion, and the Renewal of Dr. Martin Lither King’s Dream for the 21st Century,” will include a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Max Herman, president of the Jewish Museum of New Jersey. Among the panelists will be Prof. Clement Price, a Rutgers University board of governors distinguished service professor and founder and director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and Modern Experience, and Cornell William Brooks, Esq., executive director of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.

Funnye, an ordained Conservative rabbi who has been referred to as “Obama’s rabbi,” has served as the spiritual leader of Chicago’s multiethnic Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian congregation for the past 25 years. He is the national associate director of Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue), an initiative of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research in San Francisco, and is also vice president of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis. HE serves on the boards of the Jewish Council on Urban Affais, Chicago Board of Rabbis, Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, Chicago Theological Seminary, and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.

“We are thrilled to host this meaningful interfaith community event and honored to have Rabbi Funnye lead or program, said Ahavas Sholom president Eric Freedman. “It is our hope that we can bring many different segments of our community together to help us celebrate this great American civil rights leader.”

The program was made possible by at $2,5000 grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The event is free and open to the community. Limited seating will be available in the sanctuary; the program will be simulcast at the adjacent Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church at 151 Broadway. For more information, contact Freedman at 973-485-2509 or info@ahavassholom.org.
(Tags: Rabbi, Black, interfaith)


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