The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Celebrates
Black History Month with the
The First Annual Heschel/King Breakfast
February 16 Jewish Federation Campus
(Sarasota-Manatee) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee commemorates Black History Month with the first annual Heschel/King Breakfast, Tuesday, February 16, 7-8:30 a.m., at the Beatrice Friedman Theatre on the Federation campus, 580 Macintosh Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $10 (or $70 for a table of 10) and can be purchased online at jfedsrq.org/events. For more information, contact 941-371-4546.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was an American rabbi, scholar and philosopher. A friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements and marched alongside Dr. King during the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. Heschel’s daughter, Susannah Heschel, wrote that her father, “felt that the prophetic tradition of Judaism had come alive at Selma. He said that Dr. King told him it was the greatest day in his life, and my father said that he was reminded at Selma of walking with Hasidic rebbes in Europe. Such was the spiritual atmosphere of the day.”
“Jews in the United States have a long and proud history of advocating on the behalf of others,” says Howard Tevlowitz, executive director of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. “They were at the forefront of the civil rights movement and played a significant role in championing the rights of African-Americans. In fact, Jews made up half of the young people who participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. We wanted to celebrate Black History Month by showing that this common cause is still significant.”
At the event, Trevor D. Harvey, president of the Sarasota branch of the NAACP, and Patti Wertheimer, president of the board of the Federation, will recognize the efforts of thee local individuals for their work promoting tolerance and diversity in the Sarasota-Manatee community: Chief Judge Charles E. Williams of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court; Dennis McGillicuddy, board chair of Embracing Our Differences; and Howard Tevlowitz, executive director of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. Retired educator and Sarasota resident Joanne Hughes, and Rabbi Howard A. Simon, co-chairman of the Heller Advocacy Initiative, will each speak of their personal experiences as participants with Dr. King during the Selma to Montgomery marches. The event is co-chaired by Pastor John Walker Jr. of the Bethel CME Church in Sarasota, and Rona Simon, a community volunteer with the Federation.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rabbi Heschel left behind a legacy of peace and non-violent social action,” says Jessi Sheslow, director of community relations at the Federation and the coordinator of this event. “Their words, their deeds and their example remain as relevant today as ever.”
Sheslow adds that the breakfast will honor its southern and Jewish roots with a kosher menu that includes grits with corn beef hash and sweet potato kugel.
About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to save Jewish lives and enhance Jewish life in the Sarasota-Manatee region, in Israel, and throughout the world. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.