August 21, 2013, Washington, DC — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today announced its endorsement of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington. The 2013 march will not only honor the commitment of 250,000 marchers 50 years ago but will seek to build support for progress on several issues that NCJW has long supported. These include jobs and economic justice, voting rights, workers’ rights, criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention, women’s rights, immigration reform, LGBT equality, environmental justice, and increased opportunities for youth.
“NCJW is proud to join with this year’s marchers,” said NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman. “NCJW has long identified with and participated in the struggle for equality in all its forms. Our ongoing work with a variety of constituencies continues in the spirit of the 1963 march and the vision expressed there by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
“The march this year will be held on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, a day of rest and reflection,” noted Kaufman. “On this Shabbat, in the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched with Dr. King from Selma to Montgomery, we will ‘pray with our feet.’”
In conjunction with the march, today NCJW will co-convene the interfaith Praise and Worship Service, centered on the faith of Dr. King, with short readings from his speeches by diverse intergenerational and interfaith leaders and freedom songs from the civil rights movement.
NCJW will also co-convene a program on Thursday focused on the contribution women have made – past and present – to the civil rights movement and on designing a multi-ethnic women’s public policy agenda.
“We as a nation have indeed made huge strides since 1963, but we have a long way to go. Those who planned and attended the 1963 march would want us to redouble our efforts to achieve the goals of that landmark gathering – jobs and freedom,” said Kaufman. “We at NCJW recommit our energies to that mission.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.