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    200 Years of Faith in San Bernardino

    Rabbi Hillel Cohn, chairman of San Bernardino’s Bicentennial Celebration Committee, tells a crowd gathered for San Bernardino’s 199th birthday this year about the Bicentennial Celebration Committee’s plans for festivities lasting from January through July 2010. One of events planned is for Rabbi Cohn to give a lecture on 200 years of interfaith cooperation in San Bernardino,  from the Jewish, Christian and Islamic perspectives. Photo by Yeekong Yang

    (SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF.) California State University, San Bernardino’s 23rd Annual Morrow-McCombs Memorial Lecture will focus on the City of San Bernardino’s Bicentennial.

    Rabbi Hillel Cohn, chairman of the city’s Bicentennial Committee, and a religious leader in San Bernardino for the past 47 years, will deliver the lecture “Can’t We All Get Along? Reflections on 200 years of Religious Life in San Bernardino” at 7:30 p.m. March 17 at the university.

    Ray McCombs, a former mayor of Rialto and a life-long student of religion, established the lecture series in 1988 to further relations between Christians and Jews. Lillian Morrow was deeply impressed with McComb’s commitment to better relationships between Christians and Jews and also created an endownment to support the series.

    After Sept. 11, 2001 the Morrow-McCombs Lecture Series was expanded to include Islam. Over the years some of the most prominent religious thinkers in the country have delivered the lecture including Martin Marty, Rosemary Reuther, Ellis Rivkin and David Saperstein.

    The 2010 lecture will focus on successes, failures and challenges in interfaith cooperation in San Bernardino. Dr. Albert Karnig, president of CSUSB, will serve as the moderator.

    Rabbi Cohn has served twice as president of the San Bernardino Clergy Association, was one of the founders of Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) and for the past 20 years has been a member of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue, a project of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. For many years he was a regular participant on “Religion On the Line”, a radio talk show on KABC radio in Los Angeles.

    For more information on this lecture, call Rabbi Cohn at (909) 888-3666.

    Rabbi Cohn is the chairman of the Bicentennial Celebration Committee, and Erin Brinker is the chair of its Public Relations & Marketing and Independence Day Extravaganza committees. Other Bicentennial Celebration Committee members are Art Guerrero (chair of Neighborhood Beautification committee) Jim Smith (chair of the Community Engagement committee), Cheryl Brown (chair of the Youth Council, Intergovernmental and Arts committees), Beverly Bird (chair of the Legend of the Arrowhead committee), Steven Shaw (chair of the History committee), David Smith (chair of the Finance committee), Jane Sneddon (chair of the Parade committee) and Martha Pinkney (chair of the Gala committee.)

    These members were appointed by the mayor and members of the San Bernardino Common Council. Additional community volunteers who have taken on leadership of other committees are: Trudy Freidel (Festival of Faiths), Dr. William Coleman (Leadership Cabinet), Peggi Hazlett (Mayor’s Run), Dr. Charles “Skip” Herbert (Coloring Books for Schools) and The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire (Design).


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