What Role Did the Jewish Community Play in the Civil Rights Movement? What Role Did the Jewish Community Play in the Civil Rights Movement?

What Role Did the Jewish Community Play in the Civil Rights Movement?

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands of demonstrators from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol in Montgomery in 1965, it was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and other Jewish leaders who stood by his side on the “frontlines of faith.” Dr. King was later to describe this historic march in the following way “There was never a moment in American history more honorable and inspiring than the pilgrimage of … every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes.”

For his part, Rabbi Heschel stated that fighting racism was a Jewish responsibility. “…Morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible,” he explained.

Read more about this shared heritage of seeking justice here.

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