MLK PrinzA free screening of a documentary on Rabbi Joachim Prinz (left, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) is among the events scheduled during a weekend-long MLK Day observance, presented jointly by Monmouth Reform Temple (Tinton Falls) and Pilgrim Baptist Church (Red Bank).

Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple

Continuing a recently established tradition, Monmouth Reform Temple of Tinton Falls and Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank join forces for a weekend-long slate of activities honoring the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The observance begins on Friday night, January 15 with MRT Shabbat services at 7 pm, featuring special guest Dr. Everett McCorvey, chair of the Opera Department at the University of Kentucky and Director of the National Chorale. Dr. McCorvey grew up in segregated Montgomery, AL alongside Dr. King’s children, and has risen to national prominence as a soloist, conductor, and educator.

The weekend will culminate with a noon MLK service at Pilgrim Baptist Church led by Pastor Terrence Porter on Monday, January 17 at noon. Rabbi Mark Kline and Cantor Gabrielle Clissold of MRT will participate in the service, along with a joint performance by the PBC and MRT choirs. All events are free and open to the public.

In addition to the religious services on Friday and Monday, on Saturday evening, January 16, MRT will host a special screening of the film I Shall Not Be Silent, a documentary highlighting the words and work of outspoken Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who was an active member of the civil rights movement. Rabbi Prinz famously spoke before Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” on the National Mall. The film will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on themes of diversity and discriminations.

The two places of worship began joint MLK events last year to honor the spirit of unity, diversity and social action that mark this holiday. Rabbi Kline of MRT has a significant history of working toward civil rights, and he most recently participated in the NAACP’s Journey for Justice from Selma, AL to Washington DC, in addition to co-leading the march in Columbia, SC to take down the Confederate flag at the State House there.

“I believe these MLK events evoke the spirit and commitment to diversity and unity that Dr. King and so many others worked so tirelessly to accomplish,” observed Rabbi Kline. “Through our words, prayers, teachings and action we want to embody that commitment to universal messages of unity and tolerance. We strive to honor the past, but continue to understand and consider how that living legacy is still essential to promoting justice in our every day lives.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Other MLK Day-related activities sponsored by The Community Collaborative Committee of Red Bank over the coming weekend include a Community Conversation on Race Relations, featuring a panel of local church elders plus students from Red Bank Regional High School, and scheduled for 8:30 am at the Red Bank Public Library on Saturday, January 16. Then beginning at 8 am on the January 18 Monday holiday, the YMCA hosts its Annual Dr. King Breakfast at Branches Catering in West Long Branch. See the Go On Green calendar on redbankgreen for additional details.