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Liberals’ D.C. rally features rabbi, diplomat, shofar

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Washington rally of liberal groups included a rabbi, a top Jewish diplomat and a shofar blower in its religious portion.

The One Nation rally organized by unions, environmental groups, gay rights groups and an array of other liberal organizations, drew tens of thousands Saturday to the National Mall.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow of Philadelphia’s Shalom Center delivered a sermon, as did a Muslim and a Protestant cleric.

Waskow quoted from the Rev. Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. In the speech, King referred to the biblical prophet Amos, saying that "We will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ "

Waskow listed areas in which he said Americans were "still not satisfied," including  poverty, the environment, the influence of corporations, civil rights, health insurance and wars overseas.

Hannah Rosenthal, the U.S. State Department envoy combating anti-Semitism, was among a number of speakers to read from sacred texts.

A local man, Victor Granatstein, began and ended the religious portion by blowing a shofar.

The rally was organized in part as a counter to a conservatives’ Tea Party rally held in August and headlined by talk show host Glenn Beck.

Authorities do not estimate crowds, but photos suggested that the conservatives’ rally dwarfed its liberal counterpart. That rally included Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a founder of Toward Tradition, a group that argues that conservative values are underpinned by Jewish and Christian beliefs.

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