Selma, 50 Years Later: What Can You Do to Mark this Occasion?

Next weekend marks the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

On March 7, 1965, civil rights leaders led 600 peaceful marchers from Selma towards Montgomery, AL in pursuit of voting rights, but were stopped after just six blocks. The marchers were brutally attacked by police as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Images of the confrontation were televised across the country and the world, horrifying citizens and rousing much-needed, broad public support for voting rights. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday” and helped lead to the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act later that year.

As longtime advocates of voting rights and civil rights, this is an important moment for the Reform Movement to commemorate this incredible milestone in our nation’s journey for justice.

We hope that you will join us:

  1. Join us with your friends and family on a webinar Tuesday night March 3, at 7:30pm EST to commemorate Bloody Sunday and to learn about the Civil Rights Movement of yesterday, today and tomorrow. We will hear from an exceptional and inter-generational panel of speakers including civil rights leader Julian Bond, longtime Reform Jewish movement leader Al Vorspan, social justice activist Rabbi Joshua Caruso and local Ferguson movement leader KB Frazier, who will share their experiences fighting for racial and economic justice and their insights on the work ahead of us. Learn more and register!
  2. Mark the anniversary during Shabbat services by sharing a special prayer. Rabbi Andrea Goldstein and Rabbi Susan Talve, two rabbis in the St. Louis area who have been active in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, have each written a prayer that you can incorporate into your Shabbat observance. We encourage you to choose whichever is right for your congregation and community. With these prayers, we honor our Jewish teachings and tradition, the still-strong memories of those who marched in Selma and the voices of today’s ongoing struggles for civil rights.
  3. Experience the anniversary in Selma! Join Jews from around the country to commemorate the historic day. Hear from Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Susannah Heschel, Rev. Dr. William Barber and David Goodman in the historic Reform synagogue in Selma. Learn more and register for the event today, space is limited!
  4. March with us in Selma! After the program, walk with the RAC during the reenactment march over the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge. Keep an eye out for the “Religious Action Center” banner and contact me if you are interested in joining.

As we approach this important day, we look with reverence to the past to learn how we can make our future brighter and how we can best be allies in the fight for justice. The lessons of Selma resonate just as profoundly today as they did 50 years ago. As John Legend reminded us during the Oscars, “Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now.”

Learn more about our work on civil rights by visiting our website.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

About Claire Shimberg

Claire Shimberg is a 2014-2015 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the RAC. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Pennsylvania and is originally from Tampa, FL where she is a member of Congregation Schaarai Zedek.


  1. On 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the RAC Talks Civil Rights | RJ Blog - February 26, 2015

    […] weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, which was one in a series of Selma-to-Montgomery marches demanding voting rights for […]

Leave a Reply