'MLK 50 Anniversary: Dr. King Gave Jews 'Pride in Being Jewish' Recalls Daughter of Civil Rights Leader's Rabbini

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (c) marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (r) in Selma, AL., March 1965. Photo: Courtesy of Clarion Journal.Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (c) marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (r) in Selma, AL., March 1965. Photo: Courtesy of Clarion Journal.

As Americans prepared for the 50th anniversary on Wednesday of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of his closest Jewish colleague paid tribute to the legendary US civil rights leader’s embrace of the Jewish Bible as his main source of inspiration.

“In a week when we are celebrating Passover, it’s all the more important to remember that it was Martin Luther King who made Moses and the Exodus from Egypt the central motif of the civil rights movement,” Prof. Susannah Heschel told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

Prof. Heschel, who teaches Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, is the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel — the Polish-born American rabbi who, in March 1965, famously marched against the segregationist “Jim Crow” laws alongside King in Selma, Alabama.

Had King not been assassinated on April 4, 1968, he and his family would have been guests at the Heschel family’s Passover Seder eight days later, Prof. Heschel recalled.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (c) marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (r) in Selma, AL., March 1965. Photo: Courtesy of Clarion Journal.

But ten days before his death, King did address the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism — and was introduced by Rabbi Heschel.

“I call upon every Jew to hearken to his voice, to share his vision, to follow his way,” Rabbi Heschel said of King.

In his speech to the assembly, King, for his part, hailed Rabbi Heschel as a “truly great prophet.”

In several of his writings and speeches, King depicted the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as both a model and an inspiration for the civil rights movement in the US. “The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh’s court centuries ago and cried,    

Yet Another 10 Uncomfortable Truths About Radical Islam

Linda Sarsour (far right) with feminist icon Gloria Steinem at the Women’s March after Trump’s inauguration (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)Linda Sarsour (far right) with feminist icon Gloria Steinem at the Women’s March after Trump’s inauguration (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  1. Radical Islam gives some sections of the Right a clear enemy to focus on, to get people worried about and rally them round the flag, so they can expand the power of the national security state. They may or may not be doing this deliberately.

  2. Pushback against Radical Islam gives some sections of the Left an opportunity to keep the pot boiling over past racial injustice and rally people to the flag to continue the fight against the Right.They may or may not be doing this deliberately.

  3. Some people bash Islam all the time because they’re racists and because Islam is a religion primarily followed by black and brown people.

  4. Politicians from various parties will use radical Islam as a hook issue to reel people in and sell them their broader agenda.

  5. The Ottoman Empire was modernising and had a secular constitution, rights for all its citizens and had even legalized homosexuality in 1858. World War One destroyed


Emma LazarusEmma Lazarus was an American Jewish poet born in New York City. She was born to Sephardi parents, whose families were originally from Portugal.

Lazarus is best known for “The New Colossus”, a sonnet written in 1883. Its lines appear on a plaque on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

She also argued for the creation of a Jewish homeland thirteen years before the term Zionism was used.

From an early age, she studied American and British literature and started writing her own poems, which attracted the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

She became more interested in her Jewish heritage after reading the George Eliot novel Daniel Deronda and learning about the Russian pogroms, which forced thousands of Jews to leave their home. Lazarus then began to advocate for Jewish refugees and helped establish the Hebrew Technical Institute, which provided vocational training to Jewish immigrants.

Passover, America, and the Long Road to Liberty

The story of Moses and the Exodus illustrate the importance of passing on values to the next generation. Freedom and democracy can only continue to prosper if society makes a concerted effort to ensure American values move from parent to child.

And Moses said unto the people: Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage…And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land….that thou shalt keep this service in this month…Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days,; and there shall be seen no leavened bread with thee in all thy borders.  And thou shalt tell thy son in that day saying: It is because of that which the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt. –Exodus 13

America is a covenantal nation; its creed is put forth in the Declaration of Independence. The American covenant was born when founders pledged themselves in support of this declaration “with a firm reliance upon Divine providence.” The preservation of the American creed depends upon the perpetuation of the American story and idea from generation to generation.

Civics is critical to that transition. Yet we also must create a society in which we are raising our children to value work and to understand that the previous generations are relying upon them to pass what we believe in to the future.

Passing of values from one generation to the next

The lessons of the Exodus are thus deeply relevant to us as Americans. Perhaps its most important teaching for the future of the American polity is that certain things matter more than politics. 

The lessons of the Exodus are thus deeply relevant to us as Americans. Perhaps its most important teaching for the future of the American polity is that certain things matter more than politics.

One might have thought that Moses, on the cusp of the most important political liberation in the history of the world, would speak to the Israelites about politics, law, and nationalism. Instead, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks notes, Moses speaks about parents and children. “And thou shalt tell thy son in that day saying: It is because of that which the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.” 

Fresco of Moses by Joseph Schonman from 1857 in Altlerchenfelder church in Vienna. (Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com)

Moses, Sacks notes, “fixed his vision not on the immediate but on the distant future, and not on adults but children. In so doing he was making a fundamental point. It may be hard to escape from tyranny but it is harder still to build and sustain a free society.”

The Passover ritual – parents transmitting to their posterity the story of the origin of liberty, its ultimate meaning, and the laws pertaining to the celebration of liberty – ensures the wellbeing of a free people.  Without good parents, it is hard to have a democracy.

Moses’ instruction on how to ensure the preservation and nurturing of freedom speak profoundly to distressing indicators in American society today. The statistics of those under 35 who have had

None of Us Are Truly Free

Julie Fisher

This week I am preparing for Passover, a joyous holiday in which we commemorate our people’s journey from bondage to freedom.

Freedom is a theme that resonates for me, not simply as a philosophical topic for discussion at an upcoming seder, but as a down-to-earth ideal that motivates my daily actions.

These days, I spend my time working with a group of people who have tasted the bitterness of slavery, torture, and hardship, and who long for freedom, the African asylum-seeking community in Israel.

Seven years ago, when I moved to Israel with my three daughters and my husband, who served as United States Ambassador to Israel, I could never have imagined what my life would be like. As a spouse of a diplomat, I worked to foster the relationship between America and Israel through cultural programs and outreach visits to schools and hospitals.

Though our lives were filled with diplomatic responsibilities, I felt that something was missing. Doing my small part to repair the world, tikkun olam, was a value I learned early on from my parents. As a teenager in NFTY (Reform Jewish Youth Movement), I traveled with my best friend, Ann Kaner-Roth, z”l, to Washington, D.C., and met powerful role models, including Rabbi David Saperstein, who inspired us to turn our Jewish learning into action.

My oldest daughter and I began to volunteer each week in a dark and dingy gan (childcare center) filled to the brim with the children of asylum-seekers in South Tel Aviv. We were stunned that just 20 minutes from our fancy residence in Herzliya, young children spent their days in overcrowded, unsafe centers. It wasn’t unusual to see 50 children in one small room with one caregiver. We read stories and sang songs with the kids. We held the babies, who would otherwise lay in their cribs for hours on end with no human contact.

Soon I recruited others from the diplomatic and international community. After a tragic winter, when five babies died due to malnutrition and neglect, our focus shifted to humanitarian needs. We started an initiative, Invisible Kids, to provide food, diapers, and infant formula for children at risk.

The journey from bondage to freedom for our people, the Jewish people, took place centuries ago, but for the people I work with each day, the journey is still fresh in their minds. I hear about the pain and fear they carry with them from the

The Impact Of Passover On US Democracy: A Global Inspiration For The Concept Of Liberty

Constitution of United States of America 1789Passover has been a global inspiration for the concept of liberty.

The Exodus from Egypt inspired the Puritans, the Pilgrims and the American Founding Fathers. They considered themselves “the modern day Israelites,” King George III “the modern-day Pharaoh,” the Atlantic “the modern-day Red Sea,” and America “the modern-day Promised Land.” Jefferson, Adams and Franklin considered a proposal for the great seal featuring the parting of the sea with the inscription: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to G-d.”

The term “federalism” – based on foedus, the Latin word for “The Covenant” – was coined by the Founding Fathers, who considered themselves “the Modern-Day People of the Covenant.” John Locke, Roger Williams, Thomas Paine and Simon Howard considered the Laws of Moses and the structure of the 12 Tribes – sustaining semi-independence, governed by Moses, Aharon, Joshua and the 70-person legislature – a model for the American political system in general, and for “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” in particular.

Moses has become a role model of leadership and national liberation, greatly impacting US democracy, hence his marble replica at the House Chamber on Capitol Hill and at the US Supreme Court (where he is portrayed holding the Ten Commandments). Moses’ concept of Jubilee – which stipulated the return of land to its original owners and the freeing of slaves – constitutes another pivot of liberty.

It inspired the anti-slavery movement, including Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and it has been inscribed on the Liberty Bell, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof.” (Leviticus, 25:10) According to Henry George, a top 19th-century economist – who opposed taxation except for that on land, and who was a student of the Torah and the author of Moses, The Law Giver – the Jubilee was Moses' way of combating monopoly.

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, told the UN Commission of Inquiry in 1947: “300 years ago, the ‘Mayflower’ launched its historical voyage. How many remember the data of the voyage, how many passengers were on the Mayflower and what kind of bread did they consume? However, 3,300 years earlier, the Exodus from Egypt took place.

Every Jew knows the date of the Exodus – 15th of the month of Nissan – and the kind of bread – matzah – consumed. Until today, Jews all over the world tell the story of the Exodus and eat matzah on the 15th of Nissan. They conclude the story of the Exodus with a statement: 'This year we're slaves, but next year we shall be liberated; this year we're here, but next year in Jerusalem.' “

As documented by the chronicles of Passover, the Exodus set the Jewish Nation on the Road Map to a specific site (and not just to liberation) – the Land of Israel.

Jews have been targeted by enemies of liberty – from Pharaoh, Nazism, Communism through Arab-Islamic terrorism and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – because Jews have been rightly perceived as the originators the idea of liberty as a G-d-given natural right, independent of any human being.

President Trump Meets With Rabbis in Oval Office, Proclaims Education Day, 2018

President Trump Meets With Rabbis in Oval Office, Proclaims Education Day, 2018President Donald Trump met in the Oval Office with a delegation of Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis to sign and issue a proclamation marking March 27, 2018 as Education and Sharing Day.

In doing so on the 40th anniversary of the first proclamation in 1978, President Trump follows the previous six presidents—from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama—who have designated the anniversary of the birth of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, as Education Day.

Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, national director of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad, the umbrella organization of Chabad-Lubavitch, who coordinated the activities surrounding the very first Education Day celebration in Washington, D.C., back in 1978, led the delegation today.

President Trump warmly welcomed the group to the White House, and Rabbi Shemtov recited the traditional prayer made upon meeting a head of state. The president expressed his longstanding respect for the Rebbe, particularly “the efforts he initiated and inspired regarding education.”

In the proclamation, President Trump noted that the Rebbe “recognized that access to education, paired with moral and spiritual development, could transform the world for good, and he devoted

Emails Expose CAIR's Ongoing Influence in San Diego Schools

San Diego's school board continues to work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and enact its recommended anti-bullying curriculum despite a July vote withdrawingfrom a partnership with the Islamist group.

A motion for a preliminary injunction filed in federal court Tuesday seeks to put an end to that ongoing work.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) sued the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) last May on behalf of several San Diego parents, arguing that CAIR – as a religious organization – cannot steer public school curriculum and programming without violating the First Amendment's Establishment Clause separating religion and state, not to mention California state law.

Islamist Infiltration of American Universities

Ryan Mauro is the national security analyst and Shillman Fellow for the Clarion Project. This article was written with the assistance of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

In 1988, an FBI source inside the Muslim Brotherhood revealed that the Islamist group’s proxies in America had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” [1]  Among these front groups was The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank committed to the “Islamization of knowledge.”[2] This ideology, as Professor Vali Nasr writes, entails the subordination of scientific inquiry to “the mere implementation of the assorted teachings of the Shariʿa.”[3]

Over the last three decades, IIIT’s part in the Brotherhood’s plan has met remarkable success. The institute has made itself an indispensable resource for Islamic studies scholars: It has provided funding for over 70 active researchers based at institutions across America (see appendix); it has spent millions of dollars on endowing chairs in Islamic studies;[4] and it has publicized the research of hundreds of like-minded academics at its Summer Institute for Scholars.[5]

The Enemy We MUST Talk About: Hamas and The Muslim Brotherhood

The Center for Security Policy recently released the comprehensive report titled, “HAMAS, CAIR, AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD – The Secret Plot to Destroy America.” We have included some quotes from the free PDF download from CenterforSecurityPolicy.org below, but we encourage you to download and the study the PDF for yourself HERE.

“The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

– From the text of the secret 1991 document released to Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the USA, “An Explanatory Memorandum.”

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