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On the Frontlines of Faith

As we celebrate Black History Month this February, test your knowledge about the historical bonds between the Jewish community and African-Americans during the march toward equality and justice.

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Question 1 The Civil Rights Movement began with the actions of which African-American woman?

Ms. Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in 1955, igniting the Civil Rights Movement..

Rosa Parks Maya Angelou Josephine Baker Oprah Winfrey

Question 2 This southern city was where Rosa Parks made her stand.

Ms. Parks made her stand aboard a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, her actions sparking the Montgomery bus boycott.

Memphis Selma Atlanta Montgomery

Question 3 Providing leadership in the wake of Rosa Parks’ arrest was this new pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

Leading the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), and in conjunction with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Dr. King was on the frontlines of the movement, leading sit-ins, marches, and other nonviolent activities standing up to the racism and oppression experienced by African-Americans.  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reverend Jesse Jackson Roy Wilkins Reverend Al Sharpton

Question 4 People of all faiths and races joined the fight for equality. One such event that Dr. King led and that thousands of demonstrators joined was a march from _____ to Alabama’s state capital, Montgomery.

On March 25, 1965, Dr. King led thousands of followers from Selma to Montgomery. At the conclusion of the march, he said, “There was never a moment in American history more honorable and inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes.”

Birmingham Huntsville Mobile Selma

Question 5 Which Jewish leader displayed this togetherness by marching arm-in-arm with Dr. King at Selma?

Rabbi Abraham Heschel was one of those most influential religious figures of the 20th century, especially as one of those who took to the frontlines of the struggle for freedom during the Civil Rights Movement. Of his time marching with Dr. King in Selma, Rabbi Heschel said, “I felt my legs were praying.”

Elie Wiesel Julius Henry Marx Abraham Heschel Peter Yarrow

Question 6 On August 28, 1963, more than 300,000 people – including many from the Jewish community – joined for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which culminated at which national landmark?

Among the many to speak to the massive crowd gathered around the memorial to Abraham Lincoln was Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, who said, “As Americans we share the profound concern of millions of people about the shame and disgrace of inequality and injustice which makes mockery of the great American idea. As Jews we bring to this great demonstration, in which thousands of us proudly participate, a twofold experience – one of the spirit and one of our history.”  

Washington Monument Lincoln Memorial Tomb of the Unknown Soldier The U.S. Capitol

Question 7 Another speech given that day in Washington, D.C., was this address by Dr. King.

Rabbi Prinz’s words of inclusion and togetherness were echoed in perhaps Dr. King’s greatest speech, in which he said, “I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream…”

“Give Us the Ballot” "How Long, Not Long" "I've Been to the Mountaintop" "I Have a Dream"

Question 8 Dr. King gave his life in the pursuit of equality, but so did many others. Two young Jewish men were among those killed for standing on the frontlines of faith in 1964 in which state?

Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, two young Jewish civil rights activists, were murdered, along with an African-American colleague, James Chaney, in Philadelphia, Mississippi. They were just two of many Jewish Americans who risked their lives to stand up for what was right, and to stand on the frontlines of faith.  

Virginia Tennessee Mississippi North Carolina

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