To many historians the reign of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany uncovered anti-Jewish sentiment across the world, most notably in the United States. Unfortunately, the overriding tone of today’s political conversation has been leaning in the direction of racism, sexism, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic. Though the objective of the debates might be construed as mere political dissertation, the atmosphere nonetheless exists.
Rabbi Joachim Prinz fled Germany in his early twenties and immigrated to America, becoming involved in the Zionist movement, which gained the attention of the founding leaders of the State of Israel. He was an important ally in the establishment of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
While Prinz was a noted Jewish leader, it was his activism against racial discrimination while leading Temple B’Nai Abraham in Newark, New Jersey that could be considered his greatest achievement. Prinz represented the Jewish community as one of the organizers of the historic March on Washington in 1963 and his stirring address set the stage for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s electrifying “I Have a Dream” speech. Prinz said “the most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”
Perhaps the voice of Rabbi Joachim Prinz that roared in the tumultuous 1960s should blare today.
MARC CURTIS LITTLE BLOG POST at www.marclittlewrites.com