Abraham Joshua Heschel, Telegram to President John F. Kennedy, June 16, 1963
I look forward to privilege of being present at meeting tomorrow. Likelihood exists that Negro problem will be like the weather. Everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it. Please demand of religious leaders personal involvement not just solemn declaration. We forfeit the right to worship God as long as we continue to humiliate Negroes. Church synagogue have failed. They must repent. Ask of religious leaders to call for national repentance and personal sacrifice. Let religious leaders donate one month's salary toward fund for Negro housing and education. I propose that you Mr. President declare state of moral emergency. A Marshall plan for aid to Negroes is becoming a necessity. The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What does it mean to have high moral grandeur and spiritual audacity?

2. In what ways has our society improved since this text? In what ways do we still have work to do?

3. Are there issues as pressing to you as this issue was to Heschel?

Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)