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Church, synagogue join to rebuild Black and Jewish community on MLK Day weekend

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Amid a troubling climate of divisivenesss, Middle Collegiate Church is using the day before Martin Luther King Day as a teachable moment.

The East Village church will be holding a “King Day Teach-In To Rebuild Black and Jewish Beloved Community” on Sun., Jan. 15.

“Last year saw a stark rise in both racist legislation and cultural anti-Semitism, as well as violence against both communities,” a press release for the event said. “This year, we rise to counter darkness with light and hate with hope. We will commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and rededicate ourselves to the work of building Black and Jewish community as a bulwark of love against white supremacist hate.”

The event will be held at East End Temple, at 245 E. 17th St., where the congregation has been meeting since a fire gutted Middle Collegiate Church’s building in Dec. 2020.

Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Rabbi Joshua Stanton will join in dialogue after worship and the two communities — Middle Collegiate Church and East End Temple — will learn together, break bread together and organize together. The teach-in will be hosted by both communities, but is open to all who seek to gather in the spirit of solidarity.

Lewis, Middle Collegiate Church’s senior minister, said, “Together, we can rebuild the beloved community that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned. Fierce love will have the final word.”

Stanton, the spiritual leader of East End Temple, said, “In this time of simultaneous fear and hope, we need to come together and build in ways that we have not since the civil rights movement. Now is our moment to lead with love.”

The schedule of events will be as follows:

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Morning Worship
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Morning Teach-In
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.: Morning Meal
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Afternoon Worship
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Afternoon Meal
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Afternoon Teach-In

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