Alabama State Representative Phillip Ensler will be the second guest for this season’s Southern Jewish Voices program when he takes center stage at The J to be interviewed by Temple Beth-El’s Margaret Norman on November 29 at noon. Phillip is the program’s first guest who lives outside the Birmingham area.
Tickets for the event are free, and lunch will be provided.
Phillip had what he calls a “typical New York kid experience” growing up in Manhattan, and says that summer camp played a huge role in his life. Although his closest friends were Jewish, he enjoyed being around many other cultures and backgrounds.
He was also in his 6th-grade classroom only two miles from Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.
His increasing interest in civil rights history while he was in college (during which he interned with the Obama administration) led to a summer trip to visit historical locations in Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery. He says the journey was spiritually moving — “I felt incredibly connected.”
Phillip landed in Montgomery through the Teach for America program, “and the rest is history,” he says — a history that includes heading the Jewish Federation of Central Alabama and becoming the only Jewish member of the Alabama legislature.
Come to The J to hear the rest of his story.
Southern Jewish Voices is a collaborative effort between the Levite Jewish Community Center and Temple Beth-El. The program is presented through a series of interviews conducted in front of a live audience. Videos of all sessions are archived online.
SJV is made possible by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Alliance, plus support from the Ted and Marjorie Levite LJCC Fund at the Birmingham Jewish Foundation.
Stay tuned for information about future interview dates when SJV resumes in January…
Read more about Phillip in this Southern Jewish Life profile from 2021.