Political Sermons Can Effect Change

Del. Sandy Rosenberg (File)

How does a rabbi address the compelling political issues of the day without alienating someone in the congregation?

That important question was raised in “Rabbis Balance Politics on the Pulpit” (Sept. 7).

In a Rosh Hashanah sermon  in 1963, Rabbi Morris Lieberman addressed the compelling political issue of his day — racial segregation in Baltimore. It motivated someone in his congregation — Mal Sherman.

A successful real estate broker,  Sherman was prompted by that sermon to announce that his company would sell to all individuals, regardless of race, creed or color.

One of his clients in 1966 was a newcomer to Baltimore who could not find a house in a safe neighborhood with good schools. Sherman found a home in Ashburton for  Frank Robinson. That October,  the Robinsons and their neighbors celebrated the  Orioles World Series victory.

How do I know this?

I read the autobiography of Wendy Sherman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs and Mal Sherman’s daughter, on Rosh Hashanah morning.

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