Martin LutherThe Jewish Community Council (JCC) of Greater Washington will mark the anniversary of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday by distributing a statement the late civil rights leader made on Soviet Jewry during one of the JCC’s daily noon vigils across the street from the Soviet Embassy here.

The JCC’s Social Action and Urban Affairs Committee meanwhile has issued a statement honoring King’s memory not only as a civil rights leader but also as an “articulate spokesman in the cause of Israel and Soviet Jewry.”

“We honor him as a man of courage and vision, a man of great dreams and great actions, a seeker of non-violence and peace,” the statement said. “His leadership of the civil rights struggle is a chapter in American history from which all of us can draw inspiration and renewed strength. We honor him also as a friend of the State of Israel.”

The King statement which the JCC will distribute Friday said- “I cannot stand idly by, even though I live in the United States and even though I happen to be an American Negro, and not be concerned about what happens to my brothers and sisters who happen to be Jews in Soviet Russia. For what happens to them happens to me and to you and we must be concerned.”

The JCC is on record as supporting the declaration of King’s birthday as a national holiday.