Words matter, especially when spoken by people of power. I once read a book that dissected the 271 words of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Would that speech have become historic if, instead of phrases like “a new birth of freedom,” he had used phrases like “a reaffirmation of our values”?
If Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy teaches us one thing, it’s that the fight for civil rights is not particular to a time, a place, a people or a gender. It’s still shocking to watch vintage 1960s TV footage and see moms and dads yelling at someone else’s children for simply walking up the steps of a high school.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s relationship with the Jewish community is well known. Jewish leaders and rabbis filled the ranks of King’s closest advisors, collaborators, and confidantes. King’s tenure as leader of the Civil Rights movement was marked as the heyday of black-Jewish relations.
Volunteers from Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) in Encino and Family of Faith Christian Center (FFCC) in Carson fed 150 homeless people from the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in North Hollywood in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Day of Service on Jan. 17. This is the second year the church and synagogue have come together to feed the homeless on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a tradition they plan to continue. “Our tradition is as much about action as belief,” VBS Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas said.
The husband of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is urging Americans to volunteer in their communities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. "Many of you have asked how you can help and how you can honor the memory of those who were wounded or lost their lives. What united the victims of the tragedy on Saturday was service – they volunteered in church or at soup kitchens, worked in government, and tended to their communities. On behalf of Gabby and our family, I ask that you consider honoring their commitment to service by dedicating a few hours on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, this Monday, January 17th, to volunteer in your community," Mark Kelly said in a statement distributed by the Giffords for Congress campaign.
Rabbi Israel Dresner, 81, says he’s the most arrested rabbi in America. At least that was the case in the 1960s, he says, when Dresner was one of dozens of rabbis who answered the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for clergy from the North to join the civil rights movement in the Jim Crow South. From the Freedom Rides of 1961 to the famous march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, when Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walked in the front row with King, Jews were prominent participants in the battle for civil rights that dominated the first half of the '60s.
Blacks and Jews are back together and working side by side for an Obama victory, JTA reports from Denver.
Temple Israel of Hollywood has had many milestones in its 80 years as a Jewish cultural landmark in our city. One that bears special significance this month, however, occurred on Friday, Feb. 26, 1965 , when the synagogue's Rabbi Max Nussbaum welcomed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to share the bimah with him and to offer a sermon.
Although only 23 miles apart, Milken Community High School in Bel Air and Jordan High School in South Central might as well exist in different worlds.
It's a rainy Monday morning, and youth from Watts and Beverly Hills are sitting together in the auditorium of David Starr Jordan High School in South Central L.A. Rabbi Marc Schneier and Martin Luther King III share a stage, and even the ninth-graders are paying attention.
To honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., schoolchildren all over the country are learning about his fight to win civil rights for black Americans through nonviolent protest.