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Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY, February 27th

Consul General Arye Mekel presents Reverend A.R. Bernard Sr. with the award in honor of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Thousands of congregants, dignitaries and friends, joined the Consulate
General of Israel and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New
York, in honoring Reverend A.R. Bernard Sr., the Founder and Senior
Pastor of the Christian Cultural Center (CCC), as part of an annual
tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his speech, Ambassador Mekel characterized Reverend Bernard as a true
friend of Israel. He mentioned Reverend Bernard’s last trip to Israel
during the difficult days of the second Intifada, proving that “a friend
in need is a friend indeed”. On behalf of the State of Israel,
Ambassador Mekel extended an invitation for the Reverend to visit Israel
as an official guest. He also mentioned that trees will be planted in
the Martin Luther King Forest in his name beside trees planted for
previous honorees such as Toni Morrison, Congressman Charles Rangel and
Martin Luther King III.

Michael Miller, Executive VP and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations
Council of New York, commended Rev. Bernard for his qualities as a
person and as a community leader. Referring to the three crowns of
leadership, service and teaching, Miller praised the Reverend for his
possession of a forth crown, “the crown of a good name”, which was quite
evident in the reception he received from the CCC congregation.

In thanking the State of Israel and the Jewish community for presenting
him with this honor, Reverend A.R. Bernard Sr. reminded the audience
about the dangers of historical revisionism. “There are those today who
say the Holocaust never happened. The day will come when some will say
the forced transportation and enslavement of 10 million Africans to the
Americas never happened,” he said. “So we must celebrate the past. We
must rehearse it in the ears of our children and the world, from
generation to generation. So that history does not become myth.”

The ceremony was accompanied by the soulful performances by the CCC
Choir together with Israeli soloist Ariela Kalif-Carmi.

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