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Congregation Mishkan Israel Hosts Interfaith Service to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Congregation Mishkan Israel’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service will be on Friday evening, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. The guest speaker is David Goodman, president of The Andrew Goodman Foundation named in honor of David’s older brother, slain civil rights worker, Andrew Goodman.

At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Andrew (Andy) Goodman joined Freedom Summer ’64 to register African-Americans to vote. On Andy’s first day in Mississippi, he and two other civil rights workers, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. The story of these three young men struck a public chord that galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner revealed the coalitions of black and white, Jew and Christian, young and older Americans working together to form a more perfect union for all. Now, a historic figure and role model to many, Andy Goodman was first a beloved son, brother, friend, theater student and passionate advocate for fairness and equality. At this special service, David Goodman will discuss civil rights and the summer of 1964.

Beginning in the 1970s, the Congregation began to pay tribute for Dr. King’s life in order to celebrate his legacy and his ties to the congregation. CMI Rabbi Robert Goldburg had invited his friend, Dr. King to speak at CMI on October 21, 1960 to help dedicate our new synagogue. Dr. King was arrested 2 days before he was to speak but was able to be our guest preacher one year later on October 20, 1961. This was a historic moment that the Congregation wanted to preserve following Dr. King’s assassination and thus the annual service was begun.

For the fifth year, the service will be interfaith. Faith leaders from the Jewish, Catholic Christian, Muslim, Bahai and Unitarian Universalist traditions will join Rabbi Brockman in leading services.

The Afro-Semitic Experience is an American roots band that merges Jewish and Afrodiasporic melodies and grooves, combining the core concepts of ase and shalom – power, action, unity, and peace. The band was founded in 1998 by pianist Warren Byrd and bassist David Chevan. It all began when the duo were invited to play at a Martin Luther King memorial service. The duo quickly expanded into a full seven piece ensemble. The group will be the guest musicians along with the CMI Choral under the direction of Dr. Kevin Mack.

The event is free and open to the community. For further information, call the synagogue at (203) 288-3877.

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