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Lehrhaus Philosophy Circle: Heschel and Social Justice (Palo Alto)

This course was offered in Fall, 2017.

When I marched in Selma, I felt like my legs were praying.
—Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Spiritual Leader. Scholar. Philosopher. Social Activist. 80 years ago, a young Abraham Joshua Heschel was appointed by Martin Buber to be the co-director of the Central Organization for Adult Jewish Education and Judishces Lehrhaus. Today, we carry on that legacy. 

In honor of Abraham Joshua Heschel's contributions to Jewish learning and the social justice imperative that defines him, Lehrhaus is excited to offer a three-part course exploring this fundamental aspect of Heschel’s life and Judaism. Part one will cover “Foundations.” Part two is “Heschel as Religious Activist.” And part three, “Moral Outrage, War, and Economics.” 

The texts we’ll focus on are Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Orbis, 2011) and Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997). We will also read supplementary texts from other writers including Maimonides, Shai Held, Edward K. Kaplan, and Susannah Heschel.

Students may take individual parts, or register for the full series at a reduced rate. Options are available for full-year students to bundle this text course with Talmud Circle or Philosophy Circle: Zohar for a special rate. For more information or to register for two bundled courses, contact abra@lehrhaus.org.

Schedule

# Sessions
4
Date & time

Mondays, October 23, 30, November 6, 13
7:00 - 8:30 pm

Tuition
$85 after Sept 27
Session Time Days Location Instructors
Oct 23 7:00 PM–8:30 PM Mon Etz Chayim Rabbi Sheldon Lewis
Oct 30 7:00 PM–8:30 PM Mon Etz Chayim Rabbi Sheldon Lewis
Nov 06 7:00 PM–8:30 PM Mon Etz Chayim Rabbi Sheldon Lewis
Nov 13 7:00 PM–8:30 PM Mon Etz Chayim Rabbi Sheldon Lewis

Location

Congregation Etz Chayim

4161 Alma Street

Palo Alto, CA 94306-4546

650-813-9094

Instructors

Rabbi Sheldon Lewis

Sheldon LewisSheldon Lewis was born in Chicago and educated at the University of Chicago and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he received his rabbinic ordination. He was a student of Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel and has been active in civil and human rights causes ever since. He was very active in the movement to free Soviet Jews.

He served as a US Army chaplain after ordination and spent a year in Vietnam. He is rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, which he served for thirty-three years. He was deeply involved in interfaith work to promote pluralism, mutual respect, and common cause; and he has been equally committed to nurturing bonds among the streams of Jewish expression.

He has had an abiding interest in reconciliation efforts in the Middle East as a supporter of the Open House in Ramle, the Al Amal School near Bethlehem, and Rabbis for Human Rights. He is past president of the Northern California Board of Rabbis, among other positions in the Jewish and interfaith communities. He is the author of Torah of Reconciliation (Gefen, 2012), Bridging Word and World, and Mini Adventures in Jerusalem (both from Hadassah Word Press, 2017) He is married to Lorri, and they have been blessed with four sons, four daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren.