Welcome to the Beth El Civil Rights Experience!

Please direct questions and inquiries about visiting and engaging with the Beth El Civil Rights Experience to Margaret Norman at mnorman@templebeth-el.net.




Bookmark this page and sign up for our email list, so that you can stay up to date with The Beth El Civil Rights Experience. 

           This project is made possible by  the Charles and Esther Lee Kimerling Media Fund, Leslie and Sol Kimerling, the Temple Beth El Foundation, the Maxine and Stanley Lapidus Special Projects Fund, Temple Beth El Men’s Club, Alabama Humanities Alliance, and the additional support of many members of our community.  Video by McKay Allen, Beth El Civil Rights Experience Intern Spring 2021.

Your donations contribute to the development of this exciting project, and allow us to continue offering accessible, relevant programming and content for the Birmingham community. 



Historic Marker Comes to Temple Beth El!

If you came to shul this past weekend you may have noticed our new historic marker on 21st Way. This marker, the efforts of a dedicated team here at Temple Beth El, marks the spot where 54 sticks of dynamite were placed in 1958 and shares this history with our community. Already we’ve heard from so many of you what seeing this marker means!
A huge shout out to Sam Mann and his team at Harmony Partners, who donated labor and materials to install our marker, and to our collaborative partners at Studio1504 who captured photos of the installation.
Save the date for a dedication/unveiling ceremony on July 17!


Ready to Dive In? 

Check out select recorded features from our Tirdof programming series on Civil Rights Past and Present. We will continue to post recorded programs on this YouTube playlist.

You can see what we have coming up here or on the TBE calendar!

Our TravelStorys audio tour is still in development, and the first seven stops are live!


How Can YOU Get Involved? 

Do you want to be part of an exciting new committee at Temple Beth El? Are you a history buff? Do you love event planning? Have a knack for fundraising? This committee will be the primary point of lay leadership in the development of the Beth El Civil Rights Experience; a multimedia project exploring Jewish Birmingham and Civil Rights. The role of this committee is to provide advisory feedback on materials, increase capacity of the project by contributing to specific components of development and to act as community ambassadors for the Beth El Civil Rights Experience.

If you’ve engaged with these materials or want to support this project, please consider making a donation. Your donation allows us to continue offering the accessible programming you love, and supports us in the development of this innovative project.








Fight Against Fear: Southern Jews and Black Civil RightsClive Webb

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climatic Struggle of the Civil Rights RevolutionDiane McWhorter

But For Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle – Glen Eskew

Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century – Cheryl Greenberg

The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race and American IdentityEric Goldstein

Quiet Voices: Southern Rabbis and Black Civil Rights, 1880s to 1980sMark Bauman and Berkely Kalin

Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices From the Civil Rights Movement – Nick Patterson

The Institute of Southern Jewish Life’s “Virtual Vacation” series

The Taylor Oral History Collection at the Bremen Museum

The Oral History Collection at the Birmingham Public Library

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Oral History Project

Bending the Arc 

  • The Bending the Arc project explores the long struggle against racism in Alabama, featuring the stories of both African Americans and a small group of little-known white allies who fought for racial justice during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham in the 1960s. The project features a four-part documentary mini-series and additional films that explore race as seen through the eyes of children, the brutal effects of segregation, resistance to racial injustice, allies of the Birmingham movement, voting rights, today’s continuing challenges, and pathways to empathy and hope. The project was created and is managed by producer/director Pam Powell and producer/videographer David Brower, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.