The First Estate: January 11, 2012

First Unitarian Church’s Weaving the Fabric of Diversity Committee was set to join Occupy Wall Street and its healthcare branch, Healthcare for the 99%, and other community groups for a People’s Power Breakfast and Speak-Out this Wednesday, January 11.
According to organizers, Physicians for a National Health Program (New York Chapter), the People’s Power Breakfast is rallying to “Fix Health Care in Brooklyn,” and was scheduled to take place in front of the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge on Adams St., at the same time that Crain’s New York hosts its own breakfast in the hotel’s ballrooms. The Crain’s event, titled “Solve Brooklyn’s Hospital Crisis,” is reputed to be a $75-per plate fundraiser.
Physicians for a National Health Program contends that “6 of Brooklyn’s 14 hospitals are almost out of money and in danger of closing:  Brookdale (Brownsville), Brooklyn Hospital (Ft. Greene), Interfaith (Bedford-Stuyvesant), Kingsbrook Jewish (East Flatbush), Long Island College (Cobble Hill), and Wyckoff (Bushwick).  These hospitals serve low-income communities, where most people have Medicaid or no insurance, and many are immigrants and people of color.”  Long Island College Hospital, which recently became part of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center system, allowing it to continue operations) also serves higher-income areas such as Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and the Boerum Hill/Carroll Gardens neighborhoods — many of which rallied strongly to keep their local hospital open.
« « «
Brooklyn Author Explores Story of American Jewish Anti-Zionism
Brooklyn author Jack Ross will be feted later this month for his recently-published book, Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism. 
Sponsoring Ross’ talk are Brooklyn For Peace and its BFP Israel-Palestine Committee reading group.
A member of Congregation Kolot Chayeinu, Jack Ross is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. His work has appeared widely, including in Taki’s Magazine, Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, The American Conservative, History News Network, and the blog Rabbi Outcast was published by Potomac Books, Dulles, Virginia in 2011.
Although it covers the controversial and hotly-debated issue of religious Zionism, Rabbi Outcast has received wide praise. 
John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, asserts that Rabbi Outcast is “an important book for anyone interested in understanding the complex history of how American Jews have related to the State of Israel. Jack Ross not only tells a fascinating story about the life and times of Rabbi Elmer Berger, a deeply committed anti-Zionist, but he also makes it clear that Zionism is not the religion of all American Jews and certainly was not in the decades before Israel was created.”
Murray Polner, author of Rabbi: The American Experience, and co-editor of Shalom: The Jewish Peace Letter, calls Rabbi Outcast “A seminal book, nothing less than the rediscovery of American Jewry’s dissenting tradition… a nuanced and readable portrait of people and ideas undeservedly erased from American Jewish history.”
The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture (53 Prospect Park West) hosts the Book Party on Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. Plenty of time will be allotted for questions and comments. Admission is free (donations welcome). Light refreshments will be served.
« « «
Emmanuel Baptist Church Hosts Martin Luther King Day Service
Emmanuel Baptist Church welcomes a guest preacher a renowned pastor from Houston at a Martin Luther King Day service next Monday, January 16 at 10 a.m.
The Reverend Dr. Marcus D. Cosby, senior pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, has already gained a reputation for his gifts of preaching. He earned his master of divinity Degree in homiletics and Christian education from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia and his doctor of ministry degree in homiletics from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While at ITC, Rev. Cosby was chosen as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America and was awarded the Isaac R. Clark Preaching Award. In 2001, The African American Pulpit, a scholarly journal that highlights the preaching prowess of African American preachers across the country, selected him to be included on their inaugural “Twenty to Watch” list, and has subsequently published several of his sermons. In 2008, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Emmanuel Baptist Church’s Martin Luther King Day service begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 16.
« « «
Emmanuel Church Evangelizes Through Jazz Vespers Service
“This music is powerful,” says Jazz Artist Winard Harper in his bio. “It can do a lot of good for people. If they’d spend some time each day listening to it, we would see many changes in the world.”
Harper, a drummer, will be the featured artist at Emmanuel Baptist Church’s Jazz Vesper Service on January 29, with the mission of helping people to “experience the presence of God through the sounds of jazz.”
Harper has led and been the musical inspiration for a vibrant sextet for almost 10 years. He draws his inspiration from many of the greats — Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dr. Billy Taylor among them.  Harper tours with his band and when at home, records albums. His latest CD is Make It Happen.
Emmanuel Church’s senior pastor, Rev. Anthony Trufant, invites “everyone from our New York City community to worship in a relaxed setting and find God in the spacious freedom of jazz music. It is a musical tradition that gives us a voice to the hopes, dreams frustrations and pain that expresses the human experience. Simply put, Jazz is the musical incense that collects and carries the prayers of a people.”
Religion Newsmakers:
Blogsite Names Plymouth Historiany to ‘10 Most Interesting People’ List
Lois Rosebrooks, longtime member of Plymouth Church and its Director of History Ministry Services, was named to the Brooklyn Heights Blog’s Ten Most Interesting People in Brooklyn Heights. The honor list, was posted on New Year’s Day, recognized Rosebrooks for her work in promoting the landmark church’s vibrant history, “from the legendary Henry Ward Beecher, its role in the Underground Railroad, to Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 ‘American Dream’ sermon.”