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Dr. Martin Luther King – February 26, 1965 at Temple Israel of Hollywood

Dr. Martin Luther King spoke from the bimah of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles on Shabbat evening, February 26, 1965, only five days after the assassination of Malcolm X.

Security was tight around the synagogue on that evening. Sharpshooters were placed on the apartment building across the street on Hollywood Boulevard. Dr. King delivered his sermon with two large body guards standing directly behind him.

The Sanctuary was filled to capacity with 1400+ congregants. Rabbi Max Nussbaum reminded the congregation that since it was Shabbat, applause following Dr. King’s remarks would be inappropriate. He said: “You will wish to applaud, and you will not do so!”

This existence of the recorded speech was discovered by the wider Los Angeles Jewish community and was noted in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal before Martin Luther King Day in 2007. National Public Radio learned of it from the LAJJ article and requested permission to air it nationally that year. It was aired both in 2007 and 2008.

The speech borrows from many other addresses Dr. King delivered over the course of his career and is an example of the eloquence, passion, and deep intellect that was Dr. King. He was 35 years old when he delivered it.

You can listen here – http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlktempleisraelhollywood.htm

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author
John L. Rosove is Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles. He is a national co-Chair of the Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet of J Street and immediate past National Chairman of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA). He serves as a member of the newly created Union for Reform Judaism's Israel and Reform Zionism Committee (IRZC). John was the 2002 Recipient of the World Union for Progressive Judaism International Humanitarian Award and has received special commendation from the State of Israel Bonds. In 2013 he was honored by J Street at its Fifth Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles. John is the author of two books - “Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove” (Nashville: Jewish Lights Publishing, a division of Turner Publishing Company, 2017) and "Why Israel [and its Future] Matters - Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove" (New Jersey: Ben Yehuda Press, 2019). Both are available at Amazon.com. John translated and edited the Hebrew biography of his Great Granduncle – "Avraham Shapira – Veteran of the Haganah and Hebrew Guard" by Getzel Kressel (publ. by the Municipality of Petach Tikvah, 1955). The translation was privately published (2021). John is married to Barbara. They are the parents of two sons - Daniel (married to Marina) and David. He has two grandchildren.
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