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Shabbat Tzedek: From Selma to the Present

Reform Jews played a vital role in the fight for racial equality, voting rights, and more. Shabbat Tzedek honors the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggles of the broader civil rights movement.

Shabbat Tzedek: Celebrating Civil Rights & Social Justice


Special Webinar - Selma 50th Anniversary

On March 3, the RAC hosted a special web learning session featuring diverse voices on civil rights and racial justice from the 1960s in Selma to the front lines of the Ferguson movement today. 

Featured speakers

  • Rabbi Richard Hirsch
  • Rabbi Phil Schechter
  • Julian Bond
  • Rabbi Josh Caruso
  • KB Frazier

Tools & Resources

This resource packet for clergy and congregational leaders provides prayer and litany materials on racial justice and civil rights. Consider adding these to your Shabbat services on the Selma Jubilee weekend, March 7-8, 2015

On March 8, 2015, RAC Director Rabbi Pesner addressed a diverse group of faith leaders and activists gathered at Selma's historic Reform synagogue for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, organized by Temple Emanuel of Greensboro. 


Watch & Discuss

Al Vorspan, Vice President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, discusses his arrest in St. Augustine in 1964

An introduction to the Religious Action Center and the fight for civil rights

Shabbat Tzedek Worship Tools

These resources can be used to plan a religious service that celebrates the civil rights movement, social justice and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Educational Plans

These lesson plans can be used to introduce MLK Day or the civil rights movement to synagogue or interfaith community education classes.

Fresh Updates from RACBlog: Honoring MLK

Fresh Updates from RACBlog: Honoring MLK

Inspired and Empowered: Jewish Social Justice, MLK Legacy and NFTY Southern
Posted on Friday January 23, 2015

By Alexa Broida I had the pleasure of spending MLK weekend with NFTY Southern in Memphis at their “Kallah Clave” social justice weekend. Back in the fall, the NFTY Southern Regional Advisor, Becci Jacobs, reached out to Mitzvah Corps as a partner in the visioning of the event and we began brainstorming together. Being able […]

Give the Gift of Life this MLK Weekend
Posted on Friday January 16, 2015

This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Va’era, continues the story of the Israelites’ years of bondage in Egypt – which marked the beginning of their sojourn towards freedom. We read about God’s conversation with Moses, who is commanded to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Because the Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, refuses to oblige with Moses’ demand […]

A Connection Between Selma and the Jews
Posted on Thursday January 15, 2015

By Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz By all means, go see Selma. See it this weekend, when we remember the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a powerful movie that manages to feel epic and intimate at the same time; no easy feat. It is heroic yet nuanced; laudable […]

The RAC is partnering synagogues with black churches and historically black colleges for a weekend of programming and swab drives aimed at increasing underrepresented ethnic groups in the national bone marrow registry. 

The Kovler Microgrant program supports activities and actions aimed at developing links and common ground between African-Americans and Jews, through educational and programmatic activities that bring members of both communities together to learn and serve. To apply, read the Program Guidelines and get in touch with Congregational Social Action Manager Isaac Nuell at (202) 387-2800.