Highland Park synagogue recalls King visit
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrives at Congregation Solel in Highland Park on June 30, 1966. | Submitted photo
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:07PM
HIGHLAND PARK — Congregation Solel in Highland Park will honor Martin Luther King’s legacy with two services Friday, Jan. 18, and Friday, Jan. 25 — one remembering the congregation’s past ties to the civil rights movement, the other declaring education a pressing civil rights issue today.
In 1965, a delegation from the synagogue traveled to Selma, Ala., to join King on the historic march to Montgomery, Ala. In 1966, King spoke to an audience of about 1,000 at the synagogue in the midst of his fair housing campaign in Chicago. The congregation recently created an historical marker to remind future generations about the synagogue’s connections to King.
The service at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 will feature Lew Golan, a founding member of the congregation who participated in the 1965 march.
The service at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 will feature Marian McEllroy, former civil rights lawyer and past president of the Lake County NAACP. McEllroy helped to create the Envision Scholars program to help promising Waukegan High School students pursue their dream of attending a four-year college.
Congregation Solel has aligned with Envision Scholars, and dozens of its members are working closely with college-bound students to support their academic efforts and help them negotiate the college admissions process.
“We are creating ‘bookends’ to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s transformational role on our society,” said Robin Shapiro, the congregation’s vice president of social justice. “We believe it is of vital importance to pay tribute to the past, and it is equally important to commit to the pressing issues of today.”
Congregation Solel is located at 1301 Clavey Road, Highland Park.