Human Dignity and Racial Justice Workshop
More than 100 religious and community leaders from all faiths gathered at Hebrew College on November 19 for “Human Dignity and Racial Justice: A Workshop for Religious Leaders,” The workshop was co-sponsored by CIRCLE (the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education)—a joint initiative of Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School—and Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, and was spearheaded by CIRCLE Co-director Rabbi Or Rose.
Among the keynote speakers was Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Dean of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, who said, "I don’t take for granted the opening of the heart that it takes to return to some of these basic questions—what is human dignity, how do we protect it in ourselves and others, how do we repair the grave damage that has been done, that is being done to human dignity—in our own neighborhoods, our own city, our own country, and in so many parts of the world?
Hebrew College President Daniel Lehmann also addressed the crowd, highlighting the importance of seeing the divinity in the other; referring to the reunion of Jacob and Esau, Lehmann said Jacob was able to see the Divine in the face of Esau and that reflects the religious call to recognize human dignity. Other speakers included Dr. Donna Hicks, associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and author of “Dignity” and Rev. Ray Hammond, founding pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston.