Written by Colleen Maidhof Friday, 17 January 2014 00:00
Community members, as well as congregants of churches and synagogues gathered Sunday at Glen Cove’s Congregation Tifereth Israel in commemoration of Anne Frank and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Both icons of civil and human rights would have turned 85 this year.
In homage to King’s 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, residents marched together from Calvary African Methodist Episcopal Church to Congregation Tifereth Israel. Though the walk was short, it was meaningful, said participants. Church and synagogue members linked arms and sung in high spirits, and about a hundred community members joined in.
“Both Anne Frank and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived during times of prejudice and hatred,” said Rabbi Irwin Huberman of Congregation Tifereth Israel. “This is an outreach for the entire interfaith community of Jews, Christians, blacks, and whites to celebrate unity together as a community.”
After the march, excerpts of a King letter written while in a Birmingham, Ala., jail was read. Community members then gathered for a lunch and a performance of Conversations with Anne and Martin. Inspired by The Diary of Anne Frank and “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the performance included an imagined meeting of the two advocates for tolerance and peace.
“The events that happened today were very important,” said Glen Cove resident Mary Simmons from the First Baptist Church. “This is the first time everyone got together to do something like this. It truly causes a sense of community.”
“I love the fact that everyone is here today,” said Judie Wiesel of Roslyn. “The march and performance is an amazing and educational concept. I believe if all the churches met like this there would be more peace in the world.”
Both the march and performance exemplified the importance of unity, said Rabbi Todd Chizner of Temple Judea of Manhasset.
“Today focused on unity. I think that we live in a world where we are very comfortable with one another,” said Rabbi Chizner. “We are understand that there are differences, but I think today reminds us that is not enough.”
He continued, “We need to continue to uplift unity. Today is a reminder of the lessons that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank taught us. They believed every person that ever fought could only connect face to face, not in books, not in intellect, but to together in person.”
Rabbi Janet Liss of Glen Cove’s North Country Reform Temple urged that this sort of unity should be practiced more often.
“It is great that we are here today,” said Rabbi Liss. “It will be meaningful when our communities do things together on a regular basis. Not once a year in honor of Dr. King, but let’s really work to fulfill his dream of making this a country where we are all equal. Let us as a community in Glen Cove make this the first of many united events.”