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CJ Classics: Civil Rights

Posted on Jan 5, 2012

In anticipation of Martin Luther King Day, we've wiped the dust off of these CJ Journal Classics:

Photo on bottom right: Courtesy of Susannah Heschel

  • Conversation with Martin Luther King Spring 1968 (Vol. 22 No. 3)
    On the evening of March 25, 1968, ten days before he was killed, Dr. Martin Luther King, zikhrono livrakhah, appeared at the sixty-eighth annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly.
  • To Birmingham, and Back By Andre Ungar, Fall 1963 (Vol. 18 No. 1)
    "...All of the worshippers were rabbis, nineteen of them precisely. The time was the last phase of the American Civil War, in May, 1963; the place Birmingham, Alabama...Nothing as yet indicated that the very place where the Shaharit was then in progress would be blown to smithereens by a bomb just a few days later...we were not there on our own behalf alone but in the name of some eight hundred Conservative rabbis and, perhaps, a million and a half Jews, or five million, or thirteen million, or an eternity of Jewish truths..."
  • Reflections on Race from Summer 1965 (Vol. 19 No. 4)
    • A Jewish View of the Racial Crisis By Charles Silberman
      "...Jewish groups excelled at heroic resolutions, and rabbis were eloquent in their sermons. But it is no longer a question of words. Resolutions do not suffice for revolutions; only resolution to act counts now..." 
    • Journey to Understanding By Jack Bloom
      "...The two days in Birmingham were the most significant religious experience of my life..." 
    • Malverne: A Case History By Samuel Chiel
      "...My experience in this situation has left me with the indelible impression that each of us, rabbi and congregant alike, far from being discouraged by our experiences in this area, ought to seek out new opportunities to engage in the battle for civil rights. This struggle is a concrete expression of the teachings of our faith..."
  • The Sermons of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Jewish Response By Elliot B. Gertel, Spring 1996 (Vol. 48 No. 3).
  • The Future of Black Jewish Relations (from the 1985 RA Proceedings; in two parts)
    • Part I By the Honorable Andrew Young, Mayor of Atlanta
    • Part II By Alexander M. Shapiro, Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange, NJ

rabbi alex shapiro. z"l

Is it r Shapiro second from the left?   I am listening to our esteemed rep john lewis discuss the c r movement with bill moyers and having just marched twice for the 50th anniversary I thoght to use my new smartphone ..internet to google my beloved r Shapiro.   now 68 I was one of his "kinderlach" at Beth Tikvah .. confirmation..etc. eventually witn cantor neil newman performed my wedding in 1965.   Much more important his ethics, leadership and unflinching character absolutely made me into the lifelong political activist I have become.  His courage became my courage for the following 50 years.  He also was deeply involved in the serious tribulations within my family.  I miss him always.  Between the two major marches there was a superb morning symposium on blacks and jews in the civil rights movement organized by filmmakers thos hart jr and aviva kempner (partisans of vilna..hank Greenberg. .and soon julius rosenwald)  it was filmed and tho a disappointing ly limited crowd. ..watching david saperstein beaming onstage listening to r Israel Dresner's wondrous sories about dr king brought so much pride and memories.  With wishes for a good and peaceful new year..I also hope that the R.A. come back to the forefront of human rights..

             Shana tova,     kay flick elfant.   2625  holman ave  silver spring md 20910


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