Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Rabbi Kay keynote at MLK Celebration


Rabbi David Kay of Congregation Ohev Shalom.

Each year, the Interfaith Council of Central Florida and the Orlando Mayor's Commission on the Martin Luther King Holiday team up for an interfaith multicultural celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King. This year's event, held on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 12, (the Sunday before MLK week-end), will feature Rabbi David Kay of Congregation Ohev Shalom, as the keynote speaker.

"It's a profound honor to be asked to deliver the keynote at this event," Rabbi Kay said. "Dr. King challenged all people of good will and good intentions to stand up, speak up, and act. That resonates powerfully with Jewish tradition. Halakhah [Jewish law and tradition] obligates us to raise our voices and get involved."

The annual event has widened the circle of inclusion, reflecting Dr. King's vision of a "beloved community" where all faiths and cultural backgrounds are valued and respected. Although the interfaith program takes place in a downtown Orlando church, past years have featured Sikh musicians, Buddhist chanting, a Muslim keynote speaker, and a Jewish á capella group.

The event begins with a gathering at Orlando City Hall at 5:30 p.m. A procession to First United Methodist Church will step off from City Hall at 6 p.m. and the one-hour interfaith program begins at 6:30 p.m. New to this year's program is a performance by the Gospel and Cultural Choir of the University of Central Florida.

The theme of each year's program is drawn from the writings and speeches of Martin Luther King. This year's theme is "The Words of Enemies and the Silence of Friends," based on the quote attributed to Dr. King, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is expected at both the City Hall gathering and the interfaith celebration at First United Methodist Church. Faith leaders from the Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist, and Baha'i communities will participate in the program. The evening includes an audio excerpt from one of Dr. King's speeches and ends with the singing of "We Shall Overcome," the anthem of the civil rights movement.

For more information on the Jan. 12 interfaith event, e-mail MLKOrlando2014@gmail.com.


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