The following Letter To The Editor was written by Cantor Dr. Brian Mayer of the Temple Emanu-El in Providence. His timely topic involves how MLK Jr.’s dream of tolerance and racial harmony remains unresolved today, 55 years since the march from Selma. 

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were close friends back in 1965. They shared the dream that our nation should be “a place where civil and human rights would be inalienable rights, a country where acceptance, tolerance and caring would permeate our culture.” 

It’s been 55 years since the march from Selma, and our community needs to readdress the persistent and troubling inequality in American society.  Yes, legions of Americans participated in that protest, putting themselves in harm’s way for the cause of social justice. But some five decades later, is it okay for us to be content with the status quo?  

Each January when we remember the legacy of Dr. King, we need to do more than enjoy a 3-day weekend in his honor. Temple Emanu-El and the Central Congregational Church in Providence are doing just that.

On January 26, 2020, these two congregations will come together to form a uniquely ecumenical choir and performance experience called “Singing The Dream” that is multi-faith and multi-racial.  We’ll make music, raising our voices to raise awareness about how Dr. King’s dream today remains unfulfilled.

It’s my belief that Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel were modern day prophets, whose friendship should serve as a model for our time.  Their dreams of social justice for all Americans should inspire us to promote and insist upon racial harmony for all.

Cantor Dr. Brian Mayer

Temple Emanu-El

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