Southeast Civil Rights Journey

Sunday, November 17-Tuesday, November 19 | Georgia and Alabama

Join Rabbi Felicia Sol and SPSA’s Reverend Lea Matthews on a civil rights journey through Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham. Together, we will work to deepen our understanding of the Civil Rights movement and how systemic racism is both historical and present today by immersing ourselves in experiences from church services at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma to visiting the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum and Lynching Memorial and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

This trip is open to BJ and SPSA members only.

Participants are required to attend a pre-trip meeting and post-trip debrief:

  • Tuesday, November 12 – 6:30-8:30PM – Civil Rights Trip Preparation
  • Tuesday, December 10 – 6:30-8:30PM – Civil Rights Trip Debrief
The trip will be organized by Etgar 36, an independent, pluralistic, nonpartisan, and nonprofit Jewish educational venture.
Estimated cost (excluding airfare) = $950*.
* Cost subject to change depending on the final number of participants.
Because there is currently more interest in this trip than can be accommodated, not everyone who applies will be able to participate. We will be looking for individuals who are ready to engage in honest reflection on the history of racism in America, and on the roles that we, as individuals and as communities, have played in upholding the structures of racism. In addition, our hope is for participants to bring their learnings back to the larger BJ community as we seek to advance our collective work of undoing racism. We are looking for people who are eager to continue learning about the topics encountered on the trip, and to find ways to impact the BJ community on their return. BJ and SPSA staff, including Rabbi Shuli Passow, director of community engagement, Rabbi Felicia Sol, and Pastor Lea Matthews, will select participants.
The deadline to apply is Sunday, June 30. We will let you know by Wednesday, July 31 if your application has been accepted.
We are aware of the concern about traveling to Alabama and Georgia given the recent abortion legislation. It is a topic we are thinking about as we continue to plan the trip and want you to know that we understand the concern. We are choosing to move forward with the trip because we believe that there is incredible value in bringing members to visit organizations doing crucial work to fight back against legislation aimed at taking rights away from women, people of color, and the LBGTQ+ community. This trip is also part of our community work around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will provide a meaningful way to deepen our understanding of how systems of racial inequity helped shape the Civil Rights movement and continue to this day.


Apply Now



Sunday, November 17

9:30AM: Introduction to the journey

  • Leo Frank Story: Hear the story of Leo Frank, a New York Jew who moved to Atlanta, was falsely convicted of murder, and was lynched. This has impacted the identity of Jews in the South since it occurred in 1915

10:00AM: Tour Auburn Ave and King Center Neighborhood and Tomb

11:00AM: Church Services at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

12:45PM:  Lunch

2:00PM: National Human and Civil Rights Museum

  • See the brand new museum that is devoted to understanding modern day human rights issues, as well as understand the civil rights struggle.

5:00PM: Names Project/AIDS Quilt

  • See the AIDS Quilt and hear the story of the quilt and the politics of AIDS in America. Understand the fight for the rights of the gay community in the 1980s.

6:30PM: Free for dinner at Ponce City Market

8:30PM: Depart for hotel

  • Hotel: Fairfield Inn Fairburn, GA

Monday, November 18

Breakfast at the hotel

8:00AM: Leave for Montgomery, AL

10:00AM(CST): Rosa Parks Museum

  • Stand where the Civil Rights movement began and learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

11:30AM: Lunch

1:00PM: Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum & Lynching Memorial

  • Explore the evolution of racial oppression from slavery to mass incarceration and reflect on an often overlooked tragedy at the first national memorial for victims of lynching

4:00PM: Leave for Selma

5:00PM: Tour Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge

  • Meet with someone who was beaten on the march. Hear her story.
  • Learn about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and his involvement in the struggle.

7:00PM: Dinner and depart for Birmingham

Hotel: Best Western Plus, Birmingham, AL

Tuesday, November 19

9:30AM: Walking tour of Freedom Park and 16th Street Baptist Church

  • Get a walking tour by a reverend who was a civil rights worker in Birmingham in the 1950s & 60s, and was arrested and had the dogs & hoses turned on him. See the historic church where four girls died in a bombing.

11:00AM: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

  • Explore the museum about the civil rights movement

12:30PM: Lunch at Pizitz Food Hall

1:30PM: Either depart for Birmingham airport or depart for Atlanta Airport

7:00PM: Earliest flights out of Atlanta


The price includes all meals, except Sunday dinner (beginning with Sunday lunch and ending with Tuesday lunch), all ground transportation, hotels, admission, and programming costs.


When and where to meet:

Arrange your own transportation. Participants must be at 449 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 by 9:00AM Sunday morning to put their bags on the bus and meet the group.