As we embark on the journey of a new year, January calls us to reflect and set resolutions. It is also a time to contemplate service to others, in tribute to the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rabbi Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish thought partner of King, taught us that prayer transcends the confines of synagogues and houses of worship; it can manifest wherever we undertake a greater mission. (Image above – Heschel and King at Arlington National Cemetery, February 6, 1968 – Photograph by John C. Goodwin). His actions spoke volumes, notably during the historic march from Selma to Montgomery on March 21, 1965, advocating for the voting rights of African Americans. Side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rabbi Heschel covered the 54 miles to Montgomery, embodying their commitment to the civil rights movement. Reflecting on the march, Rabbi Heschel eloquently expressed, “For many of us, the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer… I felt my legs were praying.”
These visionary leaders remind us that mere words are insufficient; action is imperative. When we combine words with deeds, we can achieve more than rhetoric alone. How do we resonate with this concept? When was the last time our hearts felt immersed in prayer, whether at a synagogue or elsewhere?
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the JCC will host a vibrant array of special programs to commemorate Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel. We invite you to participate in one or more activities on Monday, January 15th, as we honor these remarkable individuals and embody the essence of prayer with our feet and hands. Activities cater to all age groups, and we kindly ask everyone to bring two cans of food for donation.