On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 7 p.m., Jewish Community of Ojai will host Lanny Kaufer and his multimedia presentation, “My Summer Working for Martin Luther King, Jr.” Kaufer will share the experiences he had in the Voting Rights Movement, including meeting and volunteering for Dr. King in the South in 1965. The presentation centers on a slideshow of approximately 200 slides, many of which have music embedded to represent the “soundtrack” of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Kaufer also sings, raps, and plays guitar and harmonica to add more musical flavor to the program.
In 1964 Kaufer volunteered for Dr. King’s SCOPE Project (Summer Community Organization and Political Education), a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) initiative designed by Dr. King to educate, organize, and register voters in the South just as the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed. He served in southern Virginia where he was fortunate to meet and shake hands with Dr. King after hearing one of his speeches. The local SCOPE Project which Kaufer and his team helped to establish was able to extend the hours of voter registration, register new voters, and launch an Improvement Association that is still going strong today.
The son of a Holocaust refugee, Kaufer will also discuss Jewish contributors to the Civil Rights Movement such as Rabbis Abraham Heschel and Joachim Prinz and share socially conscious music of the era. JCO member Sharon West, who was at “Ole Miss” in 1962 when James Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated university, will introduce Lanny.
The event is free and open to the public with donations accepted. A suggested donation of $10 is requested. For more information, please visit www.ojaitemple.org or call JCO member Sharon West at 301-661-1466.