Back in the 1980’s, Larry Linkov and Phil Lefton were retail business partners in a small NJ community. Eddie Lewis was initially a customer who soon became a friend. In time, the three extended their friendship and home visits eventually grew to sharing their religious experiences as well. The more time they spent together, the more they realized "we are more similar than different." The African American Jewish Coalition was the product of their friendship. AAJC typifies the true meaning of grass-roots activism and desire to promote racial harmony on the local level.
Though many years have passed since the group’s inception, the founders’ goals still guide their work. Their non-religious focus includes three programs each year which bring together Jewish Americans and African Americans in a bond of true brotherhood. A Freedom Seder, celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, and a mid-December multicultural holiday celebration are programs implemented by not only the adults in this group but also by the youth group which they have developed and encouraged.
Several weeks ago the group held its annual Spring Freedom Seder which drew almost 150 people for an evening of traditional Passover food and reflections on freedom and mutual understanding. It was the Good People Fund’s honor to be a part of this meaningful celebration and to contribute to the costs of the evening’s Seder fare.
Check out the group’s simple website, http://www.aajcnj.org. Perhaps this is something you can do to foster good will and harmony in your own community.