Menu Washington Hebrew Congregation

MLK Weekend

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for social justice and equality. Each January, we honor Dr. King with a weekend dedicated to his legacy.

MLK Shabbat


Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at our annual interfaith Shabbat at Temple.

Date: Friday, January 18
Shabbat Dinner: 5:30 pm
Shabbat Service: 7:00 pm
Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation

Shabbat Dinner Before the Service

The evening begins at 5:30 pm with a special dinner that welcomes our guests, the members and clergy from WHC's community partner churches and mosques. The cost to attend the dinner is $20 per person. As is our tradition, WHC hosts our interfaith community at this Shabbat dinner, and we invite you to sponsor a table for our guests. Sponsorship costs $200 per table.

Online registration is now closed for our MLK Shabbat dinner. If you would like to dine with us before the service, you can pay at the door. The cost is $20 per person, and we will accept cash, checks, and credit cards. We hope to see you!

Interfaith Shabbat Service Featuring Kristen Clarke

Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) will address the congregation. Interfaith clergy from throughout the D.C. area will join Ms. Clarke on the bimah for a service that will also feature the voices of WHC's Kol Rinah adult choir and JAM youth choir, the Male Chorus from the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, and ADAMS Beat, the youth choir from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center.

About Our Speaker:

Kristen Clarke leads one of the country’s most important national civil rights organizations in the pursuit of equal justice for all. The Lawyers’ Committee seeks to promote fair housing and community development, economic justice, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, judicial diversity, and more.

Throughout her career, Ms. Clarke has focused on work that seeks to strengthen our democracy by combating discrimination faced by African Americans and other marginalized communities. Clarke formerly served as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she led broad civil rights enforcement on matters including criminal justice issues, education and housing discrimination, fair lending, barriers to reentry, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, gender inequality, disability rights, reproductive access, and LGBT issues. Under her leadership, the Bureau secured landmark agreements with banks to address unlawful redlining, employers to address barriers to reentry for people with criminal backgrounds, police departments on reforms to policies and practices, major retailers on racial profiling of consumers, and one of the country’s largest school districts concerning issues relating to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Ms. Clarke spent several years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) where she helped lead the organization’s work in the areas of voting rights and election law across the country. She worked on cases defending the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act and also testified before Congress and state legislatures. Before joining LDF, she worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division where she served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Section of the Division, handling police misconduct, police brutality, hate crimes, and human trafficking cases. She also worked on voting rights and redistricting cases through the Division’s Voting Section.

Ms. Clarke speaks and writes regularly on issues concerning race, law, and justice. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Democracy Now, Fox News, C-Span’s Washington Journal, TV One, and Yahoo News, the world’s second-largest news site. She has also written numerous articles and books including Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership.

She received her A.B. from Harvard University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. Her honors and awards include: the 2018 Harvard College Service to Society Award; the 2017 Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni of the Year; the 2017 Thurgood Marshall Award from Quinnipiac University School of Law; the 2016 Alumni of the Year by the National Black Law Students Association; the New York Law Journal’s 2015 Rising Stars; and the 2014 New York State Senate Proclamation for Exemplary Service among others.

MLK Day of Service


Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?" — Martin Luther King Jr. 

Date: Monday, January 21, 2019
Location: Temple
Time: 10:00 am

Volunteer! Make your day off from work and school a "day on" for tikkun olam by joining us on Monday, January 21 at Temple! This is a unique opportunity to join forces with volunteers in the interfaith community to help those in need. Working together, we will build on our foundation of a shared commitment to making the world a better place. We have projects for all ages, including creating family crafts, making tuna noodle casseroles, preparing healthy snack packs, assembling bags of fresh produce, sorting donated clothing, and packaging meals with the WHC Hunger Project.

Prior registration is not required, but signing up in advance will help us plan for this special morning.

Click here to sign up to volunteer.

2018 MLK Shabbat

On Friday, January 12, 2018, we held our annual MLK Shabbat service where we told the story of the 1960 protest to end Glen Echo Amusement Park's policy of segregation. Original protesters - Dion T. Diamond, Esther Delaplaine, and WHC member Lois Goodman Ontell - along with Ilana Trachtman, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who is working on a documentary about that summer and the years of activism that followed, joined Rabbi Lustig on the bimah for a panel discussion during the service.