If you are looking for a meaningful and interesting journey through recent history early next year, join United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien (UJF) and UJA-JCC Greenwich on a civil rights journey to Georgia and Alabama in January 2024.
This will be a small-group trip staying at 4-star hotels and reservations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The group’s small size will allow for meaningful interactions at site visits and between participants. Stamford chair Robert Hoff is excited to lead this meaningful trip along with Greenwich co-chairs Jane Batkin, Joan Mann and Sally Mann.
“Visiting places crucial to the civil rights movement should be a ‘must see’ on every American’s list. Like any other historic event, actually being in the place where it happened makes the history come alive,” said Hoff.
UJF’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) first began working on this trip just before the pandemic shutdown and is thrilled that it has been rescheduled for this coming January. The itinerary focuses on sights important to the civil rights and Voting Rights movements of the 1960s and is being planned with the Etgar 36 educational initiative.
The trip begins in Atlanta with visits to Ebenezer Baptist Church and the surrounding area. A tour guide will point out and contextualize the sights as the group travels by bus to Montgomery, home of Rosa Parks and the beginning of the civil rights movement. A stop at the Rosa Parks Museum will educate the group on the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The group will travel to Selma, the starting point for three pivotal marches in support of African-Americans’ right to vote. These marches (the first being called Bloody Sunday) were crucial to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act prohibited racial discrimination in voting, protecting the right to vote for racial minorities in the U.S.
The tour will continue with a visit to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, crossed during the Bloody Sunday March, and hear from a march participant. In Birmingham, the group will visit the 16th Street Baptist Church, a sight which is so much more than a religious institution. In the 1960s, the 16th Street Baptist Church became the center of the Children’s Crusade where young people gathered to receive instructions in peaceful protest. Because of its centrality to the civil rights movement, the church was targeted by terrorists and bombed on Sunday, September 15, 1963 (just a few weeks after the March on Washington and the famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial). Four young black girls were killed and a fifth was blinded by this attack. The bombing of this church shifted the mindset of Americans and led to the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by President Johnson.
The cost of the trip will be $1,850 per person for single occupant and $1,500 for double occupancy, which includes hotels, breakfasts, lunches, luxury bus, admission fees, guide, and tips. Airfare is not included. If you are interested, please contact Sharon Lewis, JCRC Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appears in the July-August issue of The New Jewish Voice newspaper. To receive The New Jewish Voice delivered free to your home, sign-up today at www.ujf.org.