In February of 1960, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in our sanctuary at Temple Isaiah. Our nation commemorates Dr. King’s birthday, and we hope to honor his work and his legacy by sharing the newly restored recording of his speech to Temple Isaiah.

Thanks to Rabbi Gan, Rabbi Emeritus for preserving the recording, to past president Susan Bartholomew for digitizing the files, and to Josh Mason-Barkin, former director of congregational learning, for spearheading this project. The restoration work, undertaken with help from specialists at Sonic Restoration Services, preserves Dr. King’s unmistakable voice and his powerful words. The recording also includes introductory remarks from Rabbi Albert M. Lewis:

Excerpt from Rabbi Lewis’ introduction:
It’s applying, I’m aware, a great deal to Martin Luther King to compare him to Moses. And yet, it isn’t done lightly in any sense of the term. We have been dormant for many years. Since the Civil War there has been no single action that has so galvanized the Negro people and stirred up the rest of the country as the direct positive action which Martin Luther King, Jr. initiated in Montgomery, Alabama. And we trust that when he told his people go, and they went, that it will have the same effect on the Negro people as Moses’ command had upon the Jewish people.

We hope you celebrate this holiday by listening to this moving recording with your entire family. We hope it fills you with a sense of pride in your Temple, but also with a sense of commitment to continuing Dr. King’s and Rabbi Lewis’ work of repairing our still-broken world.


Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King's speech at Temple Isaiah (1960) | speech begins at: 00:13:45