Temple Beth El, Charlotte’s Reform Jewish Congregation, on Friday will host an evening discussion on African American and Jewish relations–past, present and future.

The Schloss Summer Lecture will include former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, Johnson C. Smith University president Ronald Carter, University of South Carolina history professor David Goldfield and Temple Beth El Rabbi Judith Schindler.

“I think the black-Jewish communities have at times worked very closely together, as during the Civil Rights Movement, but then at other times there have been rifts,” Schindler told Qcitymetro.com.

She listed affirmative action and the Palestinian conflict as two issues that have, in recent years, divided the two communities.

The lecture series was started four years ago by Marc and Mattye Silverman in memory of Marc’s uncle, Simeon Archibald “Happy” Schloss Jr., one of Temple Beth El’s founders.

Schindler said each year the lecture series tries to focus on a hot topic of the day. Last year’s lecture dealt with whether people concerned about freedom should watch the Beijing Olympics.

Schindler said she hopes this year’s lecture will help increase dialog between blacks and Jews in the Qcity.

“We need that comfort to talk honestly about race and religion,” she said.

The lecture will address questions such as: “How have the African American and Jewish communities walked together and how have we failed one another? From Abraham Joshua Heschel to Harry Golden to Dr. Martin Luther King, what were the voices of passion that helped us dream high? What voices do we need to hear today in our own city and where do we need to go?”

Goldfield and Gantt will share reflections on African-American/Jewish relations in the past and present, while Carter and Schindler will share a vision for where these relationships could go in the future.

Moira Quinn Klein, first vice president of Temple Beth El and senior vice president of communications and chief operating officer for Charlotte Center City Partners, will moderate the discussion.

WHERE: Temple Beth El, 5101 Providence Road, Charlotte
WHEN: Friday, August 14
TIME: Summer Shabbat Service, 6 p.m.; dinner 7 p.m.; Schloss Summer Lecture, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
COST: Dinner, $10
CONTACT: To RSVP, call 704-749-3070 and mention the “Schloss Lecture” or RSVP online at www.beth-el.com/rsvp.

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