Difference between revisions of "Milton Grafman"

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Milton Louis Grafman ([[April 21]], [[1907]]-[[May 30]], [[1995]]) was born in [[Washington, D. C.]].  He spent his boyhood in [[Pittsburgh]], Pennsylvania, where he studied at the public schools and at the [[University of Pittsburgh]]. He arrived to take up the pulpit at [[Temple Emanu-El]] in Birmingham on [[December 7]], [[1941]]. He entered the Univer­sity of Cincinnati in [[1926]] and received his B. A. from that institution prior to receiving the degree of rabbi from that city's Hebrew Union College in [[1933]]. [[Category:Ministers]]
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[[Image:Milton Grafman.jpg|right|thumb|Milton Grafman]]
[[Image:189Grafman.jpg|right]]
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'''Milton Louis Grafman''' (born [[April 21]], [[1907]] in Washington D. C.; died [[May 30]], [[1995]] in [[Birmingham]]) led [[Temple Emanu-El]] from [[1941]] until his retirement in [[1975]].
  
Grafman had been the rabbi at a congregation in Lexington, KY from 1933 to 1941.  
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Grafman spent his boyhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he studied at the public schools and at the University of Pittsburgh.  He entered the University of Cincinnati in [[1926]] and earned his Bachelor of Arts. From there he went on to Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College. He was ordained in [[1931]] and began his career as rabbi at Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, Kentucky.
  
Rabbi Grafman, who led Temple Emanu-El from [[1941]] until his retirement in [[1975]], was caught up in the movement toward racial equality in 1963 when he and fellow clergymen angered whites and blacks alike with their efforts to relieve tensions. They attacked segregation in public parks as well as Gov. [[George C. Wallace]]'s [[1963]] inaugural speech in which he declared "segregation now, segregation forever."  
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Grafman arrived to take up the pulpit at Temple Emanu-El in [[Birmingham]] on [[December 7]], [[1941]]. During his tenure he joined the group of clergymen that attempted to defuse racial tensions during the [[Civil Rights movement]]. They criticized the city's [[segregation laws]] and [[George Wallace]]'s [[1963]] inaugural speech calling for "segregation now, segregation forever."
  
The clergymen irritated civil rights leaders later that year by asking the Rev. Dr. [[Martin Luther King Jr.]] to delay demonstrations in Birmingham and wait for the courts to act against racial discrimination. That led Dr. King to write his "[[Letter From a Birmingham Jail]]" addressed to Rabbi Grafman and seven other white clergymen in which he said blacks were tired of waiting.
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But the clergymen also irritated civil rights leaders later that year by asking [[Martin Luther King, Jr]] to delay demonstrations in Birmingham and wait for the courts to act against racial discrimination. He co-signed the open letter, "[[A Call for Unity]]" to which Dr King responded with his "[[Letter from Birmingham Jail]]".
  
Rabbi Grafman was survived by his wife of 64 years, Ida Weinstein and two children, Ruth and Stephen,
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Grafman was one of the founders of [[United Ability|Spastic Aid of Alabama]] (now [[United Ability]]) and served as its first president. He also helped establish the Institute for Christian Clergy to promote understanding and cooperation between Jewish and Christian leaders.
--[[User:MacroAlan|MacroAlan]] 18:46, 13 October 2007 (PDT)
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Rabbi Grafman continued to lead Temple Emanu-El until his retirement in [[1975]]. He died at [[Baptist Montclair Hospital]] twenty years later. He was survived by his wife of 64 years, Ida Weinstein Grafman, two children, Ruth and Stephen, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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Grafman's personal library was donated to [[Birmingham-Southern College]].
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==References==
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* Saxon, Wolfgang (May 31, 1995) "[http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/31/obituaties/milton-grafman-88-a-rabbi-active-in-civil-rights-struggle.html Milton Grafman, 88, a Rabbi Active in Civil Rights Struggle]". ''The New York Times''
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* {{Bass-2001}}
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Grafman, Milton L.}}
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[[Category:1907 births]]
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[[Category:1995 deaths]]
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[[Category:Rabbis]]
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[[Category:Civil rights figures]]

Latest revision as of 12:59, 14 February 2017

Milton Grafman

Milton Louis Grafman (born April 21, 1907 in Washington D. C.; died May 30, 1995 in Birmingham) led Temple Emanu-El from 1941 until his retirement in 1975.

Grafman spent his boyhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he studied at the public schools and at the University of Pittsburgh. He entered the University of Cincinnati in 1926 and earned his Bachelor of Arts. From there he went on to Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College. He was ordained in 1931 and began his career as rabbi at Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, Kentucky.

Grafman arrived to take up the pulpit at Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham on December 7, 1941. During his tenure he joined the group of clergymen that attempted to defuse racial tensions during the Civil Rights movement. They criticized the city's segregation laws and George Wallace's 1963 inaugural speech calling for "segregation now, segregation forever."

But the clergymen also irritated civil rights leaders later that year by asking Martin Luther King, Jr to delay demonstrations in Birmingham and wait for the courts to act against racial discrimination. He co-signed the open letter, "A Call for Unity" to which Dr King responded with his "Letter from Birmingham Jail".

Grafman was one of the founders of Spastic Aid of Alabama (now United Ability) and served as its first president. He also helped establish the Institute for Christian Clergy to promote understanding and cooperation between Jewish and Christian leaders.

Rabbi Grafman continued to lead Temple Emanu-El until his retirement in 1975. He died at Baptist Montclair Hospital twenty years later. He was survived by his wife of 64 years, Ida Weinstein Grafman, two children, Ruth and Stephen, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Grafman's personal library was donated to Birmingham-Southern College.

References