Rabbi Milton Grafman, 88, a leader in the Jewish community...


May 31, 1995

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."

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