Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Column!

More than any other week of the year, this week in Brooklyn is about religious rituals. From street vendors selling palm fronds in front of St. Anthony's Church in Greenpoint on Palm Sunday, to Satmar and Pupa Hasidic Jews standing in line for boxes of shmura matzoh under the elevated J, to burning bread and lulavs at multiple checkpoints throughout South Williambsurg, the neighborhoods welcome Spring with traditions that go back decades. While there are more seders to come and sermons to listen to this weekend, my column this week explores what interfaith organizing could do in Greenpoint to improve the quality of life of residents of all backgrounds. Read more below!:

Short Takes: Where is the 94th Clergy Council?

What do a community of interdenominational religious leaders and a New York City police precinct have in common?
In Williamsburg, Bushwick and other neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn, clergy leaders meet once a month at their local police precinct to plan events and discuss issues of importance to their congregants. Bushwick clergy council members, many of them Pentecostal ministers, have worked with the 83rd precinct officers to plan forums for families dealing with foreclosure or immigration crises while Williamsburg clergy council members hosted meetings to organize against a spate of gang violence that erupted on the South Side last summer.
In Greenpoint, no such group exists.

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