Rabbi Milton Grafman, 88, a leader in...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Rabbi Milton Grafman, 88, a leader in the Jewish community in Birmingham, Ala., who opposed segregation but didn't believe demonstrations were the answer, died there Sunday of cancer.

Rabbi Grafman, who retired as rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in 1975, took part in the struggle for racial equality in the early 1960s, angering both blacks and whites. In early 1963, he joined 10 ministers in denouncing then-Gov. George Wallace's "segregation now, segregation forever" inaugural speech.

Later that year, he and seven other white clergymen urged the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to delay a protest in Birmingham. Mr. King responded with his now-famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

Said Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Jonathan Miller, "He wanted the change to come not through demonstrations on the street but through the processes of civil government that were moving at a very rapid pace."

The Rev. Abraham Woods, pastor of St. Joseph Baptist Church and local president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said he respected Rabbi Grafman even though he was disappointed in the action the white clergymen took.

"I consider him to have been one of our great assets," Mr. Woods said.

Matthew Welsh, 82, Democratic governor of Indiana from from 1961 to 1965, died Sunday in Indianapolis. When he was elected governor in 1960, he was the only Democrat to hold statewide office.

Retired Marine Corps Col. Jerry W. Marvel, 61, who was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years, died of a heart attack Saturday in Newport, N.C. The veteran of 30 years in the Marine Corps was shot down over North Vietnam during his second tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968. He was a POW for more than five years until his release in 1973.

Joseph Mogheizel, 71, Lebanon's leading human rights advocate, died of a heart attack Monday in Beirut, four days after he was appointed environment minister.

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
54°