Governor Kathy Hochul To Keynote Temple Beth-El’s Historic MLK Service


    New York Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck’s annual interfaith service honoring the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday, January 12, at 7 p.m.

    Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at Temple Beth-El’s historic MLK Service on Friday, January 12. (Contributed photo)

    The MLK Erev Shabbat service is a time-honored tradition at Temple Beth-El, ever since the reverend spoke at the synagogue in the 1960s. Dr. King’s meaningful—and still relevant—words from his civil rights speech continue to resonate with us.

    “Since then, we have proudly joined with Great Neck’s Black community each year to reaffirm its shared commitment to Dr. King’s vision for our society and for humanity,” said Temple Beth-El Rabbi A. Brian Stoller. “We are deeply grateful to our past president Roger Tilles for arranging for Gov. Hochul to speak to our congregation and for his ongoing dedication to making our annual MLK Shabbat service a meaningful experience for our community.”

    New York State’s 57th and first female governor began her career in public service on her local town board, prior to serving as Erie County clerk, congresswoman for New York’s 26th Congressional District and then lieutenant governor.

    “Gov. Hochul has been a leader in speaking out against antisemitism during this time of anxiety for the Jewish people,” noted Rabbi Stoller. “In recent months, the governor has condemned anti-Jewish rhetoric and threats against Jewish students on college campuses, expressed her strong support for the State of Israel and stood firmly with the Jewish community and our need for security in the wake of a shooting incident at a synagogue in Albany (in which, thankfully, no one was hurt). We are honored to welcome her to Temple Beth-El.”

    The governor will join the list of distinguished civic leaders who have addressed this high-profile gathering throughout the years, including Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, John Lewis, Calvin Butts and, most recently, NY Attorney General Letitia James.

    Led by Rabbi Stoller, Rabbi Megan Brumer and Cantor Adam Davis, this year’s service will include inspirational music performed by an interfaith Black-Jewish choir featuring Dr. Nigel Gretton and the Shir Appeal ensemble from Tufts University, readings from Dr. King’s inspirational speeches and remarks from community leaders.

    Temple Beth-El members Nina Koppelman and Ellen Meyerson will also be honored for their work as representatives to the Anti-Defamation League and their leadership in educating the community about antisemitism.

    The entire community is welcome to share this very special occasion at the peninsula’s first synagogue, located at 5 Old Mill Road in Great Neck. For everyone’s safety, no bags or backpacks will be permitted. Please allow time for parking and to pass through security. To learn more, call 516-487-0900, visit or email

    -Submitted by Temple Beth-El

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