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Morehouse College and the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast announce

ATLANTA-MARCH 30, 2009- For years, there has been a special connection between African Americans and Jews in the struggle for human and civil rights.

From the early days of the NAACP to the 1960’s nonviolent movement, illustrated by groups like the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Freedom Riders, the cross cultural relationship between African Americans and American Jews has been profound.

Now The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse, in partnership with the Consul General of Israel along with support from the American Jewish Committee and The Temple of Atlanta, seeks to rekindle the historic partnership through the Rabin-King Initiative, named respectfully, for Israel’s late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Morehouse alumnus Martin Luther King Jr. Both men were Nobel Prize laureates who were committed to global peace and reconciliation.

In conjunction with this historic partnership, The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel will honor the late Yitzhak Rabin with its Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Builder’s Prize at the Induction Crown Forum taking place during Science and Spiritual Awareness Week on Thursday, April 2, 2009. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will bring the keynote remarks. The event will begin at 11a.m.

The Initiative seeks to:
• bolster the Morehouse Curriculum on African American-Jewish relations by initiating a course on the “Roots of Religion and the Black Experience”
• establish a bi-directional exchange program with the University of Haifa in Israel for faculty and students
• sponsor collaborative community service projects with Jewish and African American students
• develop an oral history project of black and Jewish student civil rights activists leaders
• commission a series of oil portraits to commemorate the lives and contributions of Jewish leaders in civil and human rights; and
• establish an endowed Rabin-King professorship as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel

“We honor the late prime minister because his tenure as leader of Israel laid the most significant foundation for peace in the Middle East - the foundation that continues to be built upon this very day,” said Lawrence E. Carter, dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.”

“Both Rabin and King were recipients of the world’s highest peace distinction, and that is to be called Nobel laureates of peace,” Carter said. “The cooperative alliance of African Americans and Jewish Americans from the beginning of the 20th century still stands as a shining example of cross-cultural and inter-ethnic cooperation worth remembering, documenting and emulating.”

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Posted by edurham at March 31, 2009 03:44 PM

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