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January 20, 2020 1:14 pm

On MLK Day, US Jewish Groups Pay Tribute to Late Civil Rights Leader

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC. Photo: Reuters / Allison Shelley.

As Americans marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, US Jewish groups paid tribute to the late iconic civil rights leader.

“In a time of growing hate and intolerance, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words and work are more vital than ever,” the American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted. “We honor his legacy and continue our decades-long struggle to help fulfill his dream of equality and peace.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote, “Today, on #MLK Day, we recommit to fighting for justice and fair treatment to all. It is imperative that we continue the work that Dr. King pioneered years ago.”

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) stated, “On #MLKDay, we are honoring the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his commitment to non-violence in the struggle to achieve racial equality.”

The Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, also noted the occasion, commenting, “Today we honor the legacy and memory of Dr. #MartinLutherKingJr, whose vision and leadership helped to usher in the Civil Rights Era and give equality to millions of Americans. He remains an inspiration to billions worldwide who care for justice and equality.”

In a New York Daily News oped published on Monday, Susannah Heschel — the daughter of late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who famously marched with King in Selma in 1965 — called for renewed solidarity between blacks and Jews.

Referring to recent tensions between the two communities in the New York City area, Heschel — a Jewish Studies professor at Dartmouth College — said, “This present moment of anger will not last; it cannot, or we will destroy ourselves. Can the glorious memory of God’s great gift to this country, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., inspire us to turn to one another in gratitude? It must.”

King would have turned 91 last week, had he not been gunned down by an assassin in Memphis in 1968.

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