I could have sworn I was at a Holocaust memorial.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery,
AL is a powerful reminder of generations of violence waged in our country. And the Legacy Museum that accompanies it
gives voice to the stories of oppression that have scarred our nation’s
history. Both serve to inspire a new era
of justice and peace, underscoring the need for partnerships across race and
That’s why I’m so excited to work with Pastor Joyce Hatch of
New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church on the Civil Rights Encounter. Jewish teens of all races and members of a
historic African American church on Chicago’s west side will explore the
history of the Civil Rights movement and its meaning for all Americans
Here are a few highlights we’re most excited about:
16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL
—The site of the infamous attack that left four girls dead,
one child scarred for life, and a nation forever changed.
Temple Mishkan Israel in Selma, AL
—Half a mile from the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the local
leaders of this temple offer a historical account of the dilemmas facing
Southern Jews during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, AL
—A passionate educator offers a vivid retelling of the
dramatic efforts of the Freedom Riders in the preserved Greyhound bus station
where the major action took place.
Ebenezer Baptist Church and The Temple in Atlanta, GA
—Two prominent houses of worship that will give participants
the opportunity to pray and reflect on the relationships they’ve built, the
history they’ve encountered, and the commitments they’re ready to make.
Pastor Hatch and I are thrilled to offer this opportunity to
Chicago-area teens, and we look forward on embarking on this one-in-a-lifetime
journey with you.
Daniel Kirzane is the
associate rabbi at Oak Park Temple in Oak Park, IL. Oak Park Temple
is a progressive, near-urban Reform congregation dedicated to expansive
welcoming of people of all backgrounds. Rabbi Kirzane is an alum of the
Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the CLAL: Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship, he
is on the rabbinic cabinet of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and
he serves in alumni leadership positions for the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and
the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.