In 1964, Jerrold Goldstein was one of 16 rabbis who joined Martin Luther King Jr. in the struggle to desegregate St. Augustine, Fla. When the rabbis entered King's headquarters in a black church, King announced, "These are Moses' people come to help us." Goldstein, now a Hillel center rabbi at Cal State Northridge, was arrested during the peaceful protest. He remembers King as a preacher-activist of great moral power but "not yet St. Martin."
"Make the Dream Real" is the theme of the San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council's ninth annual celebration service to honor King. The commemoration will include an interfaith choir and readings and reflections on King's continuing legacy by religious and community leaders. The public is welcome at 7 tonight at St. John Eudes Church, 9901 Mason Ave., Chatsworth.
In 1960, all but 10% of the Valley's almost 10,000 African Americans lived in Pacoima. In 1963, developer Joseph Eichler was the first to open his new tract of ultramodern Valley homes, Balboa Highlands in Granada Hills, to all buyers, regardless of their race. "It's the right thing to do," he later told his son.