MCCJ celebrates diversity, honors community leaders

MCCJ celebrates diversity, honors community leaders

Pictured are (l-r): Merrett Stierheim; Ruth Shack; Peter Dolara; Patrica Thorpe; T. Willard Fair;
Rabbi Gary Glicksein, and Tony Goldman’s daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick.

There are those in South Florida who believe in making every second count for the good of their city. Six of those individuals exemplify the meaning of creating an inclusive community and therefore were honored during the annual MCCJ Humanitarian Awards Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel on Saturday, Mar. 2.

This inspirational evening has become a highlight of the season. Receiving the prestigious Silver Medallions were honorees Merrett Stierheim, Ruth Shack, T. Willard Fair and Peter Dolara. In addition, MCCJ posthumously honored Tony Goldman and awarded the Clergy Medallion to Rabbi Gary Glickstein.

Since 1946, MCCJ has recognized leaders in the business, religious and corporate community by presenting them with this coveted medallion. This year’s outstanding leaders have demonstrated extraordinary humanitarian efforts, which mirror MCCJ’s mission of creating an inclusive community.

More than 20 past recipients also attended the gala, including Tony Argiz, Alberto Carvalho, Al Dotson, Richard Fain, Deborah Hoffman, George Knox, David Lawrence Jr., Gepsie Metellus and Rev. Dr. Patrick O’Neill.

Young community voices by Notre Dame D’Haiti, Our Lord’s Youth Choir, performed. WPLG Local 10 anchor Calvin Hughes hosted the event along with Patricia Thorpe, board chair, and Hilarie Bass, dinner chair. The invocation was given by Rev. Priscilla Felisky Whitehead, former pastor of Church by the Sea.

To conclude the main portion of the evening, a touching Unity Candle Ceremony was conducted by various clergy of all denominations and Rabbi Solomon Schiff. As this took place, guests raised their “unity glow sticks” in the spirit of togetherness. Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, completed the dinner with the benediction.

Following the awards, guests moved to an after party where they were treated to champagne, cordials and the energizing sounds of a deejay, who had the crowd doing the electric slide.

MCCJ was founded in Miami in 1935 as the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews. It creates a safe haven for dialog, trains inclusive leaders and promotes understanding for all faiths, races and cultures through education, advocacy and conflict resolution. It hosts the oldest interfaith clergy dialog in the United States and presents prejudice reducing programs in local high schools, among other activities.

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