Israeli Consulate Celebrates Black History Month with Address by UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, Announces Innovation Diversity Mission
BOSTON — The Consulate General of Israel to New England, in collaboration with AJC New England and the Twelfth Baptist Church of Roxbury celebrated Black History Month by honoring Dr. Martin Luther King — his pursuit for coexistence and his support for the State of Israel — with a keynote address by UMass Boston Chancellor, Dr. J. Keith Motley.
“Despite your own history of trial and tribulation, the African American community in the United States has always stood by Israel,” Consul General Yehuda Yaakov told some 200 guests who filled the pews at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, MA on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 for the event titled Living His Dream: A Community Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
For Consul General Yaakov, Wednesday evening’s event was “an act of love; a merely modest part of a larger effort to cement future ties between Greater Boston’s African American community and the State of Israel.”
Chancellor Motley was invited as this year’s keynote speaker for his proven friendship with Israel and his leading role in encouraging diversity within and beyond Greater Boston’s academic community. In this context, he has publically expressed his opposition to the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Motley offered a passionate speech, encouraging the audience to remain engaged in the democratic process. He stated, “Go and see that Dr. King’s dream is not compromised or watered down, but that his faith in our freedom is transformed into the facts of our lives.”
Chancellor Motley also called upon attendees to build bridges, between our two communities, committed to economic development and job creation. He is a supporter of the Israeli Consulate’s Innovation Diversity Mission, which is scheduled to depart for Israel this fall, and is intended to bring together business leaders of various backgrounds to engage in the fields of cybersecurity and digital health.
In his closing remarks, Consul General Yaakov noted that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem — a reminder of the religious freedoms enjoyed by all of Israel’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish citizens. He invited all in attendance to celebrate Jerusalem as the focal point of such freedoms.
The evening closed with a musical collaboration between the Church’s gospel choir and Berklee College of Music student, Tal Flora Levy. They sang two original songs composed by Levy titled, “In your eyes” and “I love the Lord.”