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Congregants from Glen Cove church and temple join to celebrate MLK, Anne Frank

Cantor Gustavo Gitlin of Congregation Tifereth Israel in

Cantor Gustavo Gitlin of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove; the Rev. Dr. Craig J. Wright, pastor of Calvary A.M.E. Church in Glen Cove; Rabbi Irwin Huberman of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove; the Rev. Roger C. William of the First Baptist Church in Glen Cove; and Rabbi Neil Schuman of Manetto Hill Jewish Center in Plainview participate in the March of Unity in Glen Cove on Sunday. Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Shivering alongside each other, congregants from two Glen Cove religious communities linked arms Sunday and marched to honor the lives and works of  the Rev.  Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank.

Members of the Congregation Tifereth Israel and nearby Calvary A.M.E. Church united Sunday to celebrate King and Frank, who would have both turned 90 this year. Together they marched from the church to the temple and attended a performance of “Letters from Anne & Martin,”  a dramatic reading drawn from the German-born Jewish teenager's “The Diary of a Young Girl” and the American civil rights leader's “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” 

“We have to keep their words alive, and we want to make a combined statement that there’s no place in society for hatred,” said Rabbi Irwin Huberman of Tifereth Israel.

Members of both faith groups marched together for the short distance from Calvary A.M.E. to Tifereth Israel. Following the Rev. Calvin Wright of Calvary A.M.E., they began to sing “Go Down Moses,” a spiritual song linking the plight of the Israelites to the suffering of African-American slaves.  

“I feel like this is something that should be done more often,” said Chris Wright, 21, of Freeport, a member of the Calvary church. “It allows you to grow and expand and be more open-minded to others' issues.”

The congregations, which were also joined Sunday by other Long Island clergy, have a history of coming together, Huberman said. They held a march five years ago, to celebrate the 85th birthdays of Frank and King. They prayed together after the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in which a man killed nine members of a black church in 2015, and again in October of last year after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

The congregants then gathered inside Tifereth Israel for the performance, which was put on by the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a nonprofit based in Manhattan. Actors portraying Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. recited excerpts from the two iconic works, speaking about two different experiences, but painting similar pictures of racism and prejudice.

“Today we have the opportunity for us to see how individuals with the strength of their humanity, the vitality of their determination, their intellect and their faith above all, fight against these heresies,” the Rev. Roger C. Williams of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove said, reflecting on the messages of Frank and King.

Margaret Darson, 53, of Glen Cove, attended the event with her son, Juwaan Stewart, 22, hoping it would be a “good learning experience” for them both.

“I think it’s a great way to show inclusion in our community,” Darson said.  

MLK events:

COLD SPRING HARBOR — Kehillath Shalom Synagogue Hebrew School day of service event. 10:30 a.m. 58 Goose Hill Road. Reservations needed.

COPIAGUE — March begins at 9 a.m. at the Hollywood Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral, 3504 Great Neck Road, Amityville, and ends at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 20 Simmons Street. 10 a.m. service and concert with Copiague Madrigal Choir and Amityville High School Jazz Band.

DIX HILLS — Mothers Club of Wheatley Heights day of service with poetry, music and songs. Free. 2 p.m. Chestnut Hill School, 600 South Service Road. Bring donations of new socks.

EAST HILLS — Sid Jacobson JCC day of service. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 300 Forest Drive. Attendees will help assemble meals for those in need.

ELMONT — “These Songs of Freedom: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” featuring Jerome “City” Smith & the City Sounds Music Ensemble. 1 p.m. Elmont Memorial Library, 700 Hempstead Turnpike.

GARDEN CITY — Long Island Children’s Museum “Peaceful Painting” event. 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Free with museum admission of $14, $13 for those ages 65 and up. 11 Davis Avenue.

GARDEN CITY — Long Island Children’s Museum “Songs of Freedom” tribute concert. 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Cost is $9 with museum admission, or $12 for only theater admission. 11 Davis Avenue.

GLEN COVE — March starting at 8:45 a.m. at the First Baptist Church at 7 Continental Place and ending with presentation at Robert M. Finley Middle School on Forest Avenue.

HAUPPAUGE — First Baptist Church of Riverhead hosts memorial breakfast. 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Cost of $55. Hyatt Regency Long Island, 1717 Motor Parkway.

LONG BEACH — King Ceremony. 10 a.m. at Long Beach City Hall. 11:30 a.m. march on historic route followed by King in his 1965 Civil Rights visit to the city. Starts at Laurelton Boulevard and ends at the Martin Luther King Center, 615 Riverside Boulevard.

SETAUKET — Multifaith celebration with food and fellowship. 5-8 p.m. The Bates House, Frank Melville Park, 1 Bates Road. Free, donations accepted.

WESTBURY — Drop-in craft event. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Westbury Library, 445 Jefferson Street.


COMMACK — Interfaith celebration and choir concert hosted by Abraham’s Table of Long Island. Originally scheduled for Sunday night, rescheduled to 4 p.m. March 31 at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center.

HEMPSTEAD — Village to host King celebration event. 9:30 a.m. Miracle Christian Center, 334 Fulton Avenue. The parade portion has been canceled.

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