Sunday is Juneteenth, and while it is not a Jewish holiday, it is a celebration of freedom that deserves recognition in our community. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States, and its origins are directly linked to Texas.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston to announce that both the Civil War and slavery had come to an end. In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth a holiday. Other states have followed, as the recognition of freedom and equal rights for all citizens is a cornerstone value of the United States.
In recognition of Juneteenth, selected readings and musical pieces will augment our Sabbath worship experience this Friday night at 6:30pm. May this Juneteenth be a celebration for all of us as we remind ourselves of the value and importance of freedom in the world.