The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rabbi Abraham Heschel first met at an interreligious conference on “Religion and Race” in 1963. In his remarks, Heschel said, “Few of us seem to realize how insidious, how radical, how universal an evil racism is.... [R]acism is man’s gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking.”
Reflecting on Heschel in light of last week’s guilty verdicts for Derek Chauvin more than 50 years later gives us an eerie reminder of how entrenched racism remains in the United States.
The fact that America had to collectively hold its breath as it waited for these verdicts— anticipating yet another round of not guilty verdicts for a White police officer who killed a Black man—demonstrates again that we are still in the grip of the insidious evil of racism. May these verdicts be one step forward in the long road to getting off the “highway of insolence” that Heschel bluntly named 58 years ago.
This week, ICJS highlights the tremendous interreligious work and vision that this Jewish leader brought to the greatest challenges of the twentieth century. Join us tomorrow for a film discussion considering anew how Heschel still speaks with moral and personal courage to today’s issues.
Film Discussion on the Life and Legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 28
A mentor to the Civil Rights Movement and a pioneer in the work of interreligious dialogue, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the most remarkable and inspiring figures of the American 20th Century.
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch and ICJS Jewish Scholar Ben Sax for a discussion of the life and legacy of Rabbi Heschel in anticipation of the PBS May airing of the first full-length documentary (in which Branch and Sax both appear) on this important figure.
Holy Envy, Interreligious Engagement, and Reconciliation
by Eleni Lampadarios
ICJS Teacher Fellow and Upper School History Teacher at Friends School of Baltimore
"Being a part of the ICJS Teachers Fellowship has given me the opportunity to continue my engagement with interfaith/ interreligious work and to reflect on some of our societal problems. It has challenged me, as an Orthodox Christian, to face the harsh injustices that Christians have perpetrated against religious and racial minorities alike, and to begin a journey on which I hope to identify and take actions within my church and society that lead to healing."
2021-22 ICJS TEACHERS FELLOWSHIP
Teachers Talk Religion
Thursday, May 20
Share Your Story
There are so many amazing stories in the ICJS community, which is why we're thrilled to be partnering with the StoryCorps Virtual Tour to help engage diverse audiences and communities during StoryCorps' time in Baltimore. Public scheduling opens Wednesday, April 28, at 10:00 a.m., and slots fill up fast! Find out more about recording in StoryCorps' virtual recording booth at storycorps.org/WYPR.
Thank you, Howard Thurman: Remembering an American Spiritual Master
“In this time of extreme political polarization and resurgent racial and religious intolerance, [Howard] Thurman stands as a shining example of pluralistic leadership. As we continue to struggle mightily with how to hold our similarities and differences — racial, religious, political, etc. — thoughtfully and humanely, we can look to Thurman, who spoke eloquently about the interconnection and interdependence of all life, and the uniqueness of every person, community and culture."
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Religion News Service
U.S. Policing is Broken. Christians Must Reimagine Public Safety
"As Christians, we possess powerful theological tools to reimagine the world as we know it. We stand on the shoulders of prophets like Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, who used the power of reimagination to proclaim “what saith the Lord” to kings and rulers — bold visions that struck at the heart of building a society where all can thrive.... And we must always remember the timeless lesson of the resurrection: Death and injustice never have the last word.”
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Muslim Community Thankful for Drive-thru Dinner to Break Ramadan Fast
"The Islamic Society of Baltimore was virtually closed during Ramadan last year. It offered a drive-thru version of iftar, but only on a handful of days.
"It was so popular that mosque leaders decided to present it each night during Ramadan this year. Early every evening between now and May 11, volunteers will hand one or more fresh meals to those who arrive by car, free of charge. Guests take the meals home and serve them at sunset."
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