Rabbi Panken Participates in 50th Anniversary March on Washington

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR, will participate in the 50th Anniversary March on Washington, together over 100 Reform rabbis, joined by their congregants, representing the Reform Movement’s abiding alliance with the African-American community for civil rights.

They will join the NAACP on America’s Journey for Justice—an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is organizing their participation in partnership with the NAACP for the Journey, which will mobilize activists and advance a focused advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.

The Journey for Justice partnership between the Reform Movement and the NAACP reflects the long history of collaboration between our communities. The Reform Movement, through the work of the Religious Action Center and the Rabbis Organizing Rabbis initiative, will be vocal leaders: more than 100 rabbis will coordinate walking the distance of the journey. Congregations will come together not just to walk, but to educate and mobilize participants in the many rally days to be held in multiple cities along the way. These marching rabbis will carry the sacred scroll of our Torah, carrying thus the Jewish values that compel us to stand with our neighbors and to fight for racial justice and equality.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu