Conference aims to strengthen black-Jewish ties

(JTA) — U.S. Jewish and black leaders are meeting in Birmingham, Ala., to address poverty and racial inequality in Alabama and in their own local communities.

Delegates at the four-day conference, which was organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and began Sunday, will discuss modern and historical disparities faced by blacks and Jews; hear a lecture by Birmingham Mayor William Bell; visit the significant sites of the civil rights movement, such as the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan, killing four African-American girls; and participate in a service project.

The events are intended to strengthen African-American and Jewish relationships through a common ground.

“For generations, the African-American and Jewish communities have been allies against the injustices and inequalities facing minority groups across America,” said JCPA president Rabbi Steve Gutow. “This mission will provide a venue to discuss how to work together going forward to alleviate poverty and to promote justice in their local communities.”

The major focus point for discussion and connection is the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Following the discussions, attendees will work together to develop strategies to confront injustice and poverty in their communities.

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