Soon we will be marking the holiday celebrating the remarkable life of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most inspiring individuals in American history. This holiday weekend, as we take a day to remember King’s well known achievements, we as a community can also reflect on his special relationship with Jewish organizations during the Modern Civil Rights movement. Several different Jewish organizations and leaders were on the front lines with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to protest segregation and call for a more equal and just society. The American Jewish Congress, for example, worked with Dr. King in 1957 and 1958 to condemn the violent hatred unleashed in the southern states and bring in more supporters to the cause of civil rights. Dr. King himself spoke at the National Biennial Convention on the recommendation of his advisor Stanley Levinson, who served on the AJC’s board in Manhattan. A few years later, in 1963, the president of the AJC, Joachim Prinz, became a founding chairman of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and even addressed the crowd shortly before Dr. King told the nation “I Have a Dream.” Jewish communities across the country can thus take pride in the knowledge that Jewish activists before us upheld the values of tikun olam by participating in the fight for equality and justice.
Welcome to secular year 2023!
On a different note, unfortunately because of continued expected rain, we have decided to once again postpone the playground sand and wood chip project for the religious school until Sunday, January 22, at 12:30 p.m. We and the teachers will be deeply grateful for anyone who can volunteer to help make the playground even better for the kids.
We also have plenty of other major holidays to celebrate in the first half of the year, including Tu’Bshvat, Purim and Passover. You can help make a difference by volunteering to help with the Purim Carnival and Passover Seder. Assisting with any of these events allows us to connect with the community, perform a mitzvah, and make the Temple Beth Hillel experience even better. In addition, please consider joining the Temple Beth Hillel Board of Directors next year. Our Board is always on the lookout for members who have ideas for the future of the temple and the ability to carry out that vision. You can reach out to us or any Board member if you are interested.
Finally, the next Family Shabbat will be held next Friday, January 20, at 6:15 p.m. Please help spread the word to encourage families to bring their kids for Shabbat activities and stories. Immediately afterwards, our regular Shabbat service will be held at 7:30 p.m. As always, Torah study will be held on Saturday at 10:15 a.m., and will be on Zoom. And those who wish to join Tefillah services at the Religious School are welcome starting at 9:30 a.m on Sundays. Thanks everyone!
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when? -Rabbi Hillel
~ Anna B Stein and David Zimring, Co-Presidents, Temple Beth Hillel