Yom Huledet Sameach! Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 1929 ~ April 4th, 1968

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Excerpt from speech by Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch, Founding Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) following the speech by Dr. King during the 1968 Selma demonstration:

“For the next 30 minutes, I offered three thoughts – the words of the Midrash. First, I said that Jewish tradition teaches us that when God created man, he created only one man. Why? So that no man would ever be able to say my father is better than your father.

Next, I shared my second thought that according to Jewish tradition, God created man using dust from the four corners of the earth. Why? So that no person would ever be able to say the place from which I come is better than the place from which you come.

Then, I delivered my third and final thought, that when God created man, he used every color of dust. Why? So that no man would ever be able to say the color of my skin is better than the color of your skin.”  Original article HERE

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

10 Tips Toward Racial & Cultural Sensitivity in the Jewish Community

1 ~ Reach out to other Jews across difference because you will find our commonalities exceed our differences by far.

2 ~ Do not assume that Jewish history and the current Jewish population is comprised most significantly of Jews of European culture ancestry.

3 ~ Consider that within the customs and traditions of the Jewish people, there is a great diversity of language, culture, custom and color. Be willing to reach for and stay connected to the diversity of the Jewish people.

4 ~ Do not assume that because a person has dark skin that they must be a convert. This is not necessarily true or fair to individuals that have been Jewish all of their lives.

5 ~ Learn to value the “inner” Jew in yourself so that you can better appreciate it in others.

6 ~ Get to know the customs and traditions of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa and welcome this knowledge as a necessary component of your Jewish education.

7 ~ If you find a person’s journey around difference to be inspiring, be it their color, background, abilities, culture, traditions, etc., try not to limit your praise of them to their being “inspiring”.Tell them what about them inspires you specifically.

8 ~ Remember that it’s o.k. to be curious, but to become fascinated with a person because of an aspect of their physicality ALONE, is to turn that person into an object in your regard. Make efforts to make your relationships with people who are different than you, more than skin deep.

9 ~ Keep in mind that Jews of Color have a lot to offer the Jewish community, both in experience and perspective and should be welcomed to participate in all levels of Jewish social interaction, including leadership.

10 ~ Remember that denial is not just a river in Egypt (smile), it can also be an obstacle toward finding lasting solutions. When we sit with the things inside us that make us the most uncomfortable, we often find deeper truth and growth on the other side. ~Courtesy of Ayecha: http://www.ayecha.org/

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Forest

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Forest was established by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in 1976 with the ceremonial planting of 39 trees, symbolizing each year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. Below, Martin Luther King III plants a tree in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Forest on Sept. 10, 1987, during his religious pilgrimage and study mission in Israel. The forest is located in Turan, near Nazareth. The Coretta Scott King Forest is located in Biriya Forest, Israel. Every year 100’s of trees are added to the forest during King’s birth month.

Rev. Robert A. Pruitt, pastor of African Methodist Episcopal Metropolitan Church in Washington, said during a ceremony at the forest, “Martin Luther King Jr. was great for his love of mankind, whether Christian or Jewish. How fitting that he be remembered by planting trees here. He may be buried, but his leaves are still blooming here in these hills, holy to both peoples [Americans and Israelis].”

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