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Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr.and the Jewish Community Hardcover – 28 Oct 2000

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A timely history 17 Jan. 2000
By Larry Mark, editor of - Published on
Format: Hardcover
You mean blacks and Jews did not all walk hand-in-hand during the Fifties and Sixties, even though nearly 70% of white Freedom Riders were Jewish? You mean not everyone prayed with their feet like Rabbi Heschel in Selma? You're telling me that president of the UAHC, leaders in social action, was forced by his members to withdraw an invitation to King to speak at the group's 1959 convention in Miami? Did the Reverend James Bevel, a leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Selma, Ala., actually wear a kippah (freedom beanie) at his rallies and it protected him from the sheriffs? In this book, Rabbi Schneir tells us the story of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King's support for human and civil rights for Jews, his use of the Jewish experience in his speeches, and his call for the Baptists to stop trying to convert Jews. He also tells us the story of Jewish avid support of and reluctance to support King's movement. Rabbi Schneir, the son of Rabbi Arthur Schneir of Manhattan's Park East Synagogue, is a rabbi, founding rabbi of the West Hampton Synagogue, planner of the Palm Beach Synagogue, force behind a new cross-denominational rabbinical assembly, leader of the New York Board of Rabbis, President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and member of the NAACP. Schneier is quite frank, and includes the wariness of some supporters of the far-left-wing Jews in King's entourage. He also discusses King's attitudes toward Israel, Zionism, militarism and the Six Day War. By the way, while King may have been dis-invited to a convention in 1959, by 1968, when King spoke at the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly's convention, he was greeted by over a thousand rabbis singing "We Shall Overcome" in Hebrew. King was planning to join Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's family for a Pesach seder in 1968, but was assassinated before he could.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good examination into an overlooked history 9 Dec. 2002
By Andre M. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The release of this book, which is a well-documented look at the interesting relationship between Martin Luther King and American Jews, is quite timely and appropriate. In these early days of the millennium, Black-Jewish relationships seem to currently be on the mend from the low points of the 1990s, and books like this may help in the recovery process. Also quite well written with some little known information and rarely-read speechs by MLK on Black-Jewish realtions.
By Steven H Propp - Published on
Format: Paperback
Marc Schneier (born 1959) is an American rabbi, founder and president of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and the founding rabbi of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, New York and the New York Synagogue in Manhattan.

He writes in the Preface to this 1999 book, "Jews should be proud of their participation in the civil rights struggle. They should hold that up as an inspiration to all generations: it is emblematic of what the sages call tikkun olam, the mandate for Jews to repair the world, to make it whole and move it closer to a messianic age of truth and consequences. We hope that the story told here will encourage Jewish people and people of all faiths in such efforts in the future."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"(I)t would not be the most traditionally observant Jews who would be in the forefront of helping blacks get justice. Instead of Orthodox Jews leading the way, it was Reform and Conservative Jews, as well as those who were not affilited with any movement within Judaism." (Pg. 16)
"The conference provided the first meeting between Heschel and King, who spoke in Chicago. That encounter developed into a life-long friendship and intellectual bond. Moreover, the two men raised strikingly similar cries. Each quoted the prophet Amos..." (Pg. 137)
"King, said Heschel, was a modern-day prophet; his voice was equal to that of the prophets of Israel and his presence was 'a sign that God has not forsaken the United States of America. God has sent him to us." (Pg. 141)
"And despite the growing antipathy between blacks and Jews, especially as SNCC and other black organizations became more radical, (King) always maintained an allegiance to Jews and refused to indulge in another side of the same hatred that had targeted blacks for so long." (Pg. 171)
MLK: "You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews---this is God's own truth." (Pg. 178)
Four Stars 29 Jun. 2014
By Dov P Elkins - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good.
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