Each year, many Reform Movement congregations observe Martin Luther King Day by participating in Shabbat Tzedek: Celebrate Civil Rights and Social Justice. This year, Martin Luther King Day falls on January 20, and Shabbat Tzedek falls on January 17 and 18.
Shabbat Tzedek honors the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—and more broadly, honors the civil rights movement. As Jews working toward a more just society, we know that the vital work of the civil rights movement is not complete, and Shabbat Tzedek represents an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to this work.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed many forms of discrimination and segregation, and was drafted in part at the Religious Action Center. But 50 years later, we confront our own civil rights challenges. From protecting voting rights to criminal justice reform, from ensuring equal treatment for LGBT Americans to affirming the rights of the disabled, there is still much work to be done.
The parsha for Shabbat Tzedek this year is Yitro, in which God reveals the Ten Commandments to Moses and the people of Israel. The Ten Commandments are at the core of our faith and inform our long-standing commitment to working toward a more just society. This page features resources for Shabbat Tzedek and year round, including programming, lesson plans, Jewish text studies, historical materials, and information about our Jewish commitment to the civil rights issues of today.
Please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Charlie Arnowitz with any questions.