Israel’s 60th anniversary was celebrated at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater.
Performances by Miri Ben-Ari, Israel’s “hip-hop violinist,” and three African-American church choirs were among the highlights of the ceremony Tuesday organized by Israel’s New York Consulate and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Michelle Paige Paterson, the wife of New York Gov. David Paterson, offered remarks.
Rabbi Marc Schneier, the president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, cited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Dr. King, a great supporter and advocate for the State of Israel, understood that a people who fight for their own rights are only as honorable as when they fight for the rights of all people,” Schneier said. “In this spirit, the solidarity of the African-American and Jewish communities celebrating Israelâ€™s 60th anniversary is a fulfillment of Dr. Kingâ€™s dream.â€