Jan. 7, 2004 – In its annual observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas will honor seven local high school students at a special service on Jan. 16 for exemplifying the civil rights leader's teachings in their lives.
The public is invited to attend the recognition ceremony, which will be part of the congregation's Friday evening Erev Shabbat service, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Thomas synagogue.
Guest speaker for the occasion will be Karen Hastie Williams, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who grew up on St. Thomas, the daughter of William Hastie, the territory's first African-American governor (1946-69) and then a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Beryl Lockhart Hastie.
Karen Hastie Williams, who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, is a partner with the Washington law firm of Crowell & Moring, which she joined in 1982. She serves on the board of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and on numerous other not-for-profit and corporate boards. She and her husband, Wesley S. Williams Jr., a lawyer and businessman, have homes in Washington and on St. Thomas.
The students to be honored are:
– Luanda Casimir, Seventh-day Adventist School
– Adrian Hamilton, Wesleyan Academy
– Marsha Howe, Sts. Peter and Paul High School
– David Ramnarine, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School
– Minal Sampat, All Saints Cathedral School
– Rebecca Smock, Antilles School
– Michael Toussaint, Charlotte Amalie High School
The honorees were nominated by their school principals or guidance counselors. In addition to the recognition, each student will receive a $200 U.S. Savings Bond and a copy of the book "Shared Dreams, Martin Luther King and the Jewish Community."
Following the service, the public is invited to congratulate the honorees and enjoy food and fellowship at a special Oneg Shabbat reception at Lilienfeld House, the congregation's social hall, located just up Synagogue Hill from the synagogue.
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