This past Monday, as thousands of Minnesotans braced the cold to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. in gatherings and marches across the state, three Jewish Community Action staff-members faced something far more terrifying than sub-zero weather: several dozen energetic 7th- and 8th-graders! Teachers and students at the Amos and Celia Helicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School were generous enough to invite JCA to faciliate special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day-related programming, and, always happy to further connect with our community's youth, we jumped at the awesome opportunity.
During the morning at HMJDS, we facilitated three unique sessions: Race and America, Community Organizing, and Jewish Identity in America. The sessions, which featured artwork, physical games, and probing conversations on topics like identity and social change, challenged students to reflect on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, the challenges still plaguing our state, nation, and world, and their place in the fight for justice. We were blown away by students' maturity in discussing such sensitive issues, and were grateful for the hospitality and support of the teachers. Many thanks to HMJDS for welcoming JCA into their school and honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. in such a unique way! Others interested in tailored youth programming should contact JCA's incredible new youth organizer, Jesse.