On January 16, 2015 Rabbi David Baron, Founder of the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre led a Shabbat Service attended by 500 guests in observance of the holiday celebrating the life and work of the late Civil Rights Activist and Leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Service Participants included: Axel Cruau, Consul général de France à Los Angeles; Reverend Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder and Chairman of the Modern Movement promoting the Juneteenth holiday and Jazz Pianist and Trumpeter; Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, President of the Western Baptist State Convention of California; actor Gabriel Macht, star of the television showSUITS and Television Editor Ari Macht, both of whom served as Keynote Speakers; and actor Stephen Macht, who served as Event Producer.
Others who also participated in the service included: Marianne Williamson, acclaimed spiritual author; 14yearold opera singer Golda Berkman; Jazz musiciansJacques Lesure on Guitar, Teodress Avery on Saxophone, James Leary on Bass andCecil Brooks, III on Drums; and the Temple of the Arts’ Cantor, Ilysia J. Pierce and Music Director Sharon Farber. Miss Israel 2013, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw delivered a video message honoring Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers.During the course of the service event participants lit 17 candles in memory of those killed in terrorist attacks in Paris recently as cellist Michael Fitzpatrick played a moving piece of music entitled “In Memoriam” written by composer CJ Vanston, while images of the 17 victims were projected onto a video screen above him. Jazz Pianist Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers, along with the support of guitarist Jacques Lesure, saxophonist Theodress Avery, bass player James Leary and drummer Cecil Brooks, III, played a musicalized version of “Psalm 23,” supported by Narrator Loren Lester. Singer Golda Berkman sang the song “Climb EveryMountain.” Cantor Ilysia J. Pierce, supported by pianist Sharon Farber led the congregation in a rousing rendition of the anthem “We Shall Overcome” while all event participants locked arms and sang the song from the bimah of the synagogue. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, who once marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, delivered the Benediction.
Rabbi David Baron said “The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the example of Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers, whom we honored tonight at our service, are men committed to unifying us not diving us.” Rabbi Baron presented Reverend Dr. Ronald V. Myers with a special menorah in recognition of his service to mankind. To learn more about the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre, please visit www.templeofthearts.org.