Since the fall of 2020, Temple Beth El has been engaged in a public facing programming series entitled Tirdof (You Shall Pursue), exploring issues of civil rights past and present. Now we’re asking, what’s next? Lisa McNair, whose sister Denise McNair was killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, is a professional public speaker on the topic of reconciliation. This program will feature both a talk by Lisa on her family’s journey and experiences with reconciliation work, and interactive Q and A session. For this program we will be joined by members of Adath Jeshurun, a congregation in Minneapolis, taking advantage of virtual format to expand our reach, and to facilitate a conversation on racial justice and reconciliation across Jewish communities and regional distinctions.
Lisa’s presentation and the moderated Q & A will last for approximately an hour. For the last 20-30 minutes of our program, we will host small group breakout sessions for participants to collaborate and brainstorm across congregations (and states), and then come together for sharing and processing.
This series is part of the development of the Beth El Civil Rights Experience; a multimedia project exploring the intersections of Birmingham’s Jewish and Civil Rights histories, with an eye towards exploring the past and “building bridges” in the present and future.