Happy New Year — and happy birthday


Happy New Year to everyone!

I am happy to announce the birthdays of two special people: Bishop Walter H. Richardson, pastor and overseer at The Church of God Tabernacle in Liberty City, who will celebrate his 91st B-Day on Jan. 5, and Dorothy Edwards, the Mother of the Church at the Historic Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Overtown, who will celebrate 100 years of living on Jan. 12!

Richardson, who has served as the spiritual leader of The Church of God since 1965, will be honored with a birthday luncheon at noon Jan. 4 at the Miami Shores Country Club. Then, on Jan. 5, his actual birthday, there will be a special worship service in his honor at 10 a.m. Friends and former members are invited to share in this special celebration for Richardson.

For many years, Richardson has gone about — in his own quiet way — uplifting the community and helping out whenever and wherever he can.

For tickets or more information about the luncheon, or to make a presentation on the program either on Saturday or Sunday, call Missionary Maxine Edwards at 305-621-8813.

Our dear Mother Edwards will be honored in a special worship service at 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 12 at Mount Zion, where the Rev. Dr. Ralph Ross is the pastor. Her actual birthday is Jan. 13.

Many of our readers who grew up in Liberty City and Overtown will remember Edwards, who was the Dean of Girls at the old Dorsey High School in Liberty City. Her late husband Oscar Edwards, served as Dean of Boys at Booker T. Washington Junior-Senior High back in the day when I attended the school.

It would be a great thing if many of you who remember these special people will take the time out to honor them on their special day.

Those of you who wish to make a presentation to Edwards during the worship service should contact Robbie Hall, secretary of Mt. Zion at 305-379-4147 or send an email by Friday, to be included on her program.

MLK Shabbat

In a recent column, I informed the community about the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Shabbat Service at Temple Sinai, but forgot to tell you the date of the service.

It will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17, at the temple, 18801 NE 22nd Ave. in North Miami Beach.

Interfaith service

Also celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday with a special interfaith service will be Temple Israel of Greater Miami and the Church of the Open Door Congregational United Church of Christ to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King in song, teachings and interfaith worship.

On Jan. 16 at Temple Israel, the evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with “The Service of the Heart,” led by Rabbi Tom Heyn and will feature baritone Lloyd Reshard Jr., who will perform a number of gospel selections in a special 45-minute Shabbat musical service.

Reshard Jr. has been a featured soloist throughout South Florida, including appearances with the MasterWorks Chorale of West Palm Beach, Naples Opera Guild, Guava Rugelach Festival and the Klezmer Company Orchestra. He also has sung at Temple Israel's High Holy Day services for the past two years.

At 7:30 p.m., the Shabbat evening service will begin and will be a mix of traditional and innovative worship with Rabbi Hayn and Musical Director Alan Mason. The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis, senior pastor at Church of the Open Door, will preach. During the service special music will be performed by Reshard and the Temple Israel Singers. An Oneg dessert reception will follow. Families are welcome; free childcare is available.

Then, at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 19, Rabbi Heyn will be the guest speaker at Church of the Open Door, 6001 NW Eighth Ave. in Liberty City.

The community is invited to all services at both houses of God. Call Temple Israel at 305-573-5900 for more information, or email:

Stories from the Holocaust

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center at 20400 NE 30th Ave. in Aventura, will present special guest Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff at 7 p.m. Jan 7. She will speak on “Running and Hiding from the Nazis — My Family's Miraculous Escape from the Holocaust.”

Kassenoff is director of the Holocaust Teachers Institute at the University of Miami; Education Specialist for Holocaust Studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and Chair of Holocaust Education Week for The Holocaust Memorial/Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

She is presently working on a film with public radio WLRN about “The Last Survivor of Treblinka.” In 2013, she was one of a small group of North American educators nominated by ADL/South Florida to be a guest at the new Jewish History Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

This is a complementary event, but reservations are requested. To make yours, call 305-937-1880 or email,

Blessing of the animals

Pet lovers are invited to bring their pets to Temple Beth El at 1351 S. 14th Ave. in Hollywood at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 12, for the temple’s annual blessing of animals on its front lawn. The temple will also celebrate Tu G'Shevat on that day by participating in Guardians of Nature.

From 1 to 4 p.m., also on Jan. 12, the temple will meet at Young Circle for a “Hollywood Healing Haiti Concert and Fundraiser.” There will be live music, food, raffles, and kids’ activities.

For more information call Sandy Schindler, administrative assistant at the temple at 954-920-8225.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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