A New Addition to Martin Luther King's Legacy

Max and Ruth Nussbaum

Rabbi Max Nussbaum and his wife, Ruth. The rabbi was active in the civil rights movement and also railed against the injustices of Nazi Germany. Jewish Journal hide caption

itoggle caption Jewish Journal

King at Temple Israel, 1965

Full speech provided courtesy of Temple Israel of Hollywood, Calif.

MLK

King's sermon at Temple Israel was recorded onto an old-fashioned, reel-to-reel audiotape. The Temple recently made it available to the public for the first time since 1965. © Bettmann/CORBIS hide caption

itoggle caption © Bettmann/CORBIS

In 1965, a Rabbi named Max Nussbaum asked Martin Luther King Jr. to address his congregation at the Temple Israel in Hollywood.

Nussbaum was not only active in the civil rights movement, but he also made his name as a rabbi in Berlin by using the pulpit to rail against the injustices of Nazi Germany.

King accepted Nussbaum's invitation, and his sermon was recorded onto an old-fashioned, reel-to-reel audiotape. The tape was then forgotten, lost in a pile of the rabbi's other audiotapes and papers.

The rabbi died, and his widow Ruth came upon the reel while sorting through his stuff more than a decade ago. She submitted it to the Temple library, where it sat again.

The Temple has just made the tape of the speech available to the public for the first time since 1965. Ruth Nussbaum, 95, tells the story of the speech.

This story was produced by Queena Kim of HearingVoices.com.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.