This morning, middle and high school students gathered for a collective minyan in commemoration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK, Jr. Day is this coming Monday, but because of midterms next week, the Tzibur Club planned this assembly early in order to commemorate the day and its values as a school.
This morning’s service was unique in that the voices of students and faculty were accompanied by guitars played by senior Jesse Herrnson and sophomore Avital Aaron. Herrnson, an organizer of the service, shared, “At my summer camp, all our services are led with instruments, which is something I wanted to bring to Schechter. I then heard that we would be having a guest from a Reconstructionist synagogue ... and so I thought that the two could easily be intertwined.”
As Herrnson said, students additionally had an opportunity to learn from Cantor Eric Schulmiller from the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore. Cantor Schulmiller led a text study comparing a speech by King, Jr. to Torah and Talmud texts, which all promoted themes of equality and unity. Freshman Danny Frank said, “Although this program was very moving and inspirational, many of the views discussed were views that I had already agreed with since I was younger. It is a person's duty to respect everyone for who they are, and to not judge them by their race or social status.” He added, “The program ... provided great examples of ways to fight inequality and become a more peaceful world.”
Student Body President Evan Lipman was also involved in today’s service and said, “Even though the Civil Rights Movement was not directly about Jews, we can still learn lessons from MLK, Jr. Just as African Americans were persecuted ... Jews are being persecuted now through the anti-Semitic attacks that have been happening recently.” Lipman added, “It is just important for us as Americans to learn about a very significant and impactful time in our history.”
Jacob Goldstein is a new writer for Paw Print Now and has been published on the site since November 2019. Jacob is currently a sophomore at the Schechter School of Long Island and can be reached at the following email address: email@example.com.