NEW YORK (Jan. 15)
A leader of American Reform Judaism said today that he had “A nightmare that the dream of Martin Luther King was a vanishing vision.” Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations spoke at special memorial services marking the birthday of the late Negro civil rights leader. He said his remarks were inspired by Dr. King’s renowned “I Have A Dream” speech which he delivered at the march on Washington in 1963. The services were held at the House of Living Judaism, UAHC headquarters, on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in New York.
“I have a nightmare of an America whose areas of division are not designed by nature’s majestic mountains and coursing rivers, but by the inhumanity of man that separates white from black, affluent from the poor, old from the young,” Dr. Eisendrath declared. “I have a nightmare of an America more distressed by tranquility disturbed than by justice denied; by an America that hears not the pathetic cries of the hungry, the pained, the homeless…I have a nightmare of an America where an elected leader would stifle the voice of public dissent and curb the critical expression of a press whose freedom was guaranteed by our founding fathers…Of an America whose conscience becomes paralyzed before the sight and sound of unconscionable wars…in which industrial greed for riches from Arabian oil supersedes concern for the tiny democracy of Israel, struggling valiantly to survive. I have a nightmare,” Dr. Eisendrath said, “of a world that has defiled the dreams of dreamers who sought to inspire brother to embrace brother; to inspire the strong to assist the weak; to imbue in all men a desire to link arms with all others, no matter the shade of their skin, the origin of their birth, the religion of their fathers.”