This article originally appeared on ReformJudaism.org on January 12, 2018.
By Erika Davis and Rebecca Katz
Every year come Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jewish organizations, synagogues, and schools look for ways to engage in Dr. King’s enduring call for a just and equitable society where the basic rights and dignity of all people are celebrated.
In trying to honor and understand the past, Jewish communal celebrations can often focus exclusively on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and an uncomplicated narrative of Jewish communal participation at that time. Rather than limit our gaze to the past, let us use the words and strategies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders to propel Jewish communal engagement in racial justice work today.