While interfaith Jewish/gospel services in honor of the observance are fairly common in Los Angeles, Temple Israel’s stands out for its inclusion of a musical piece arranged by Skloff, featuring recorded excerpts of King speaking at the synagogue in 1965. King’s voice will be accompanied by both choirs’ vocals and music played by members of both congregations.
Temple Israel of Hollywood has had many milestones in its 80 years as a Jewish cultural landmark in our city. One that bears special significance this month, however, occurred on Friday, Feb. 26, 1965 , when the synagogue’s Rabbi Max Nussbaum welcomed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to share the bimah with him and to offer a sermon. Nearly forty-two years later, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the synagogue will welcome the reverend’s voice back into the sanctuary in a special service on Jan. 12 with The Word Center Church Gospel Singers, as well as its pastors and musicians.
The brainchild of Michael Skloff, a member of the temple’s board of trustees and a professional composer and songwriter, the Friday night service, which is open to all, will feature songs performed by musicians and choir members from both congregations, separately and together.