Events & Resources for Observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 14: Temple Sinai Holds Virtual MLK Shabbat Service

Join Temple Sinai for a virtual Shabbat service on Friday, January 14 at 6 p.m. as we remember and celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our service will be guided by Rabbi Bennett and Cantor Lipton, and our guest speaker is Rev. Samuel C. Blanks, Pastor in Charge at Spottswood A.M.E. Zion Church in New Britain. Contact our office at 860.561.1055 or for the Zoom link, or watch the service live on our Facebook page.
January 16: JTConnect Teen Day of Service in Honor of MLK

In honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, JTConnect is taking a break from classes to put Jewish values into action through a day of service. We will have the extraordinary opportunity to meet individuals who have experienced homelessness, and we’ll support local grassroots efforts making a big difference in our community. Open to all teens. Join us on Sunday, January 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. For more information, visit our website or email Cara at
January 16: Environmental Justice Tu B'Shevat Seder with Hazon

Join Hazon for a virtual, environmental justice themed Tu B’Shevat Seder on Sunday, January 16 from 8 to 9 p.m. For thousands of years, Tu B’Shevat has marked the new year for the trees as the sap of almond trees begins to rise in the land of Israel. This year, Tu B’Shevat falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – reminding us that the fight against the climate crisis must also be a fight for climate justice. Our evening of spiritual renewal and inspiration will be led by Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein of Jewish Federations of North America along with the farmers and educators of Adamah farm and Pearlstone Center, the community of Hakhel, and the activists of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement. Click here to register.
January 17: Social Justice Mitzvah Day with Beth Israel & Beth David

Congregation Beth Israel and Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford have joined forces for a social justice mitzvah day on MLK Day! You’re invited to sign up for as many of the opportunities below as you’d like. Questions? Email

9 to 10 a.m.: Make cards for meals on wheels recipients (register here) or make blankets and scarves for homeless shelters (register here). Both events take place at Beth David Synagogue, 20 Dover Road, West Hartford. For a contact-free option, drop off homemade cards and blankets in the boxes outside Beth David’s Dover Road entrance.

10 to 11 a.m.: Prepare lunch for homeless shelter residents at Beth David Synagogue, 20 Dover Road, West Hartford. Register here.

12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Sort food at Foodshare, 450 Woodland Avenue, Bloomfield. Open to ages 12 and up, including 2 people over 18. To register, email Gina Seay at
January 17: Explore the Intersection of Black & Jewish Identity in America

Join us at 11 a.m. for a virtual program of justice, solidarity, and community featuring intersectional guest presenters from Jewish Federations of North America, the Weinberg Foundation, Avodah, Elon University, and Hazon. Register here. You can view additional MLK Day commemorations from Federations around the country by clicking here.
January 17: Celebrate MLK Day with Acts of Kindness at the J

The Mandell JCC and PJ Library of Greater Hartford invite you to participate in JCares, a community service program in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The program will take place at the J (335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford) on Monday, January 17 at 1 p.m. We'll pack bags of supplies and food and make sandwiches to be donated to Hands on Hartford, which serves families and individuals in need. We'll also decorate "kindness cards" to include in the bags. JCares is open to those age 8 and up. RSVP to Susan at with your attendee names; we ask that each participant donate a new pair of adult-size socks, individually wrapped snacks, and a loaf of bread. All attendees must be masked, and participants over age 12 must show proof of vaccination.
How to Support Racial Justice

Education. Often, people don't recognize their own pre-conceived biases. We can start by educating ourselves. Below are some recommended resources.

Books and Articles


  • The 13th, a film by Ava DuVernay (full film available on Netflix)

Listening. The Jewish community includes Jews of all backgrounds, including Jews of color. We must not only make sure to include Jews of color in all spaces; we also need to work with them on the issues that affect them. Recommended resources include:

Allyship. When showing solidarity, white Jews should follow the lead of organizers of color. Just as we as Jews have the right to define anti-Semitism and determine how we want our partners to respond, it's the right of people of color to take the lead and determine the appropriate response to racism. We should support their efforts. Recommended resources include:

Advocacy. We can tell elected officials that we support policies to eliminate racism. Recommended actions include:

  • Visiting your city or town website for municipal officials' contact information (phone calls or emails are most effective)

  • Clicking here for more information from the JCRC on effective advocacy

Programs of the JCRC Social Justice Task Force are made possible in part by a grant from Liberty Bank.