How the Jewish Community is Honoring MLK

Next weekend we will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is a particularly exciting and historic year in the city of Boston, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share information about some of the ways in which the Jewish community is participating – with sufficient advanced timing so that you can choose to participate in these activities as well. 

Next weekend is exciting because the Boston MLK Memorial Breakfast, the oldest annual celebration, will once again be an in-person event. As in recent years, I’m grateful to CJP for organizing a table so that many of our Jewish community leaders will be present. There is also an online livestream component for those who are interested.  

It is also a historic year because on Friday, January 13th, Boston will unveil The Embrace, our city’s new memorial to Dr. King, located on the Common.  

To celebrate and participate in the dedication, Central Reform Temple and Congregation Mishkan Tefila are leading an interfaith procession – including the carrying of a sefer torah - to join and witness the unveiling (JCRC is proud to co-sponsor). The processional will depart from 15 Newbury Street (Central Reform Temple-Emmanuel Church) at 12pm on Friday, January 13th. The unveiling is at 1pm on Boston Common.  

On Friday Night, Temple Israel in Boston is hosting their annual Shabbat Tzedek. This year’s speaker – online and in-person at 6pm – is Tanisha M. Sullivan, President of the Boston branch of the NAACP and a long-time friend and partner to many in our community (and someone I personally value as a thought partner and ally). This service is open to people of all faiths. 

On Monday, January 16th, the Vilna Shul is teaming up with Repair the World, Hillel Council of New England, and About Fresh to host an MLK Day of Service for young professionals from 1-3pm. They invite you to join them to learn about food injustice. Together they will pack over 100 bags of fresh produce to donate to local communities in need. 

Of course, these activities in the city of Boston are just a small subset of the ways in which our Jewish community across the region will be honoring and participating in commemorations this coming week around the holiday. We’ll post other events on our social platforms in the coming days (you can also check out JewishBoston.com for additional events around the region).  

I hope this is helpful and that you will find ways to participate that are meaningful for you and your family. 

Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.” - MLK 

Shabbat Shalom,

Jeremy