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Mission Statement: The Beth El Civil Rights Experience explores Birmingham’s civil rights history through the lens of the Jewish community and builds connections to foster ongoing acts of tikkun olam (repairing the world).


Visit Us at Temple Beth El 

We are currently welcoming visiting groups by appointment. We offer a 90 minute program that exposes visitors to our historic synagogue and the intersection of Birmingham’s Jewish and civil rights histories.

We offer an interactive program where participants are given opportunity not only to learn, but to engage and reflect. Your docent-led tour includes a film, audio storytelling and an interactive "history-out-of-the-box" activity. 

We recommend this program for both adults and youth (grades 6 and up).  Additionally, if your group is looking for a kosher meal, or would like to stay for services, those options are available. 


Hours: We offer tours by appointment, based on docent availability on weekdays before 4:30 p.m, weekday evenings after 6 p.m and Sundays. We do not offer a Shabbat tour at this time, though groups are welcome to join us for Friday or Saturday services. 

Cost: The following costs are for groups under 30. Groups over 30 will receive a flat-rate quote after filling out our group intake form. Higher costs after hours reflect an added security fee. We are committed to making the Beth El Civil Rights Experience accessible for all and do have scholarship funds available; contact with inquiries. 

Regular Hours (weekdays before 4:30 p.m) 

  • $12 / adult  

  • $8 / student  

  • $5 / local student 

After Hours  (weekdays after 6 p.m, Sundays) 

  • $20 / adult  

  • $18 / student  

Please fill out our group intake form in order to begin booking your visit. Click here to access the form. 

Please direct questions and inquiries about visiting and engaging with the Beth El Civil Rights Experience to Margaret Norman at or Melissa Young at

November Open Slots! 

These slots are designed for small groups and individuals to take the tour outside of our group booking process.

Sign Up Here:




Listen and Learn; Self-Guided Audio Tour 

Our self-guided tour is available for free on the TravelStorys app. 

Ready for a Deep Dive? 

More information coming soon on our 2024 docent training! Contact Margaret at to be added to the interest list. 



Further Resources

Resource Corner


Fight Against Fear: Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights – Clive Webb

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climatic Struggle of the Civil Rights Revolution – Diane McWhorter

But For Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle – Glen Eskew

Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century – Cheryl Greenberg

The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race and American Identity – Eric Goldstein

Quiet Voices: Southern Rabbis and Black Civil Rights, 1880s to 1980s – Mark Bauman and Berkely Kalin

Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices From the Civil Rights Movement – Nick Patterson

Behind the Magic Curtain: Secrets, Spies, and Unsung White Allies of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Days – TK Thorne

The Institute of Southern Jewish Life’s Virtual Vacation series

The Taylor Oral History Collection at the Bremen Museum

The Oral History Collection at the Birmingham Public Library

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Oral History Project

Bending the Arc 

  • The Bending the Arc project explores the long struggle against racism in Alabama, featuring the stories of both African Americans and a small group of little-known white allies who fought for racial justice during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham in the 1960s. The project features a four-part documentary mini-series and additional films that explore race as seen through the eyes of children, the brutal effects of segregation, resistance to racial injustice, allies of the Birmingham movement, voting rights, today’s continuing challenges, and pathways to empathy and hope. The project was created and is managed by producer/director Pam Powell and producer/videographer David Brower, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.

The Titusville Landmarks and Heritage Project

  • The Titusville Landmarks and Heritage Project aspires to preserve the rich history of the Titusville community by collecting stories, and marking historic sites. This project brings together the Titusville community as active participants in preserving the neighborhood’s rich story.

    This project is sponsored by Titusville Development Corporation, Inc.(TDC),  the Titusville Marker Committee, and is supported by the Alabama Humanities Alliance, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Alabama Humanities
    Alliance or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“No More Bull”

In 2013, UAB historian Pamela Sterne King and Temple Beth El congregant Solomon P. Kimerling teamed up to author a 17-part series entitled “No More Bull” for Weld. An 18th part by Mark Kelly (then-publisher of Weld) reflected back on the series. 2013 was the fiftieth anniversary of a number of key events within Birmingham’s long civil rights movement, and this series is an excellent commemoration of that history.

Sol Kimerling (z”l) passed away in 2022. Sol was not only co-author of this series, but a true community historian, and an important supporter of the Beth El Civil Rights Experience. He was active in the Birmingham community in so many ways. You can read more about his legacy, with his wife, Rita Kimerling (z”l) here, in this excellent tribute from University of Alabama-Birmingham.

We are thrilled to provide continuing access to “No More Bull!” Click here to read the series.

This project is made possible by  the Charles and Esther Lee Kimerling Media Fund, the Maxine and Stanley Lapidus Special Projects Fund, and the Tenenbaum/Spielberger Tikkun Olam Fund of the Temple Beth El Foundation, Alabama Humanities Alliance, the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, Sirote-Dentons, the Southern Jewish Historical Society, Alabama Power, Temple Beth El Men’s Club and the additional support of many members of our community. 

A special thank you as well to the Reva and Joe Engel Young Adult Engagement Fund of the Temple Beth El Foundation. 

This project is supported by the Alabama Humanities Alliance, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Alabama Humanities Alliance or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784