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Rabbi Michael Lerner to Speak at Yale


New Haven, Conn. — Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, will speak at Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., on April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

This talk is free and the public is welcome.

Lerner, author, most recently, of “The Left Hand of God: Taking Our Country Back from the Religious Right” (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), founded Tikkun magazine: A bimonthly Jewish critique of politics, culture and society, in 1986. Tikkun takes controversial stands in favor of the rights of Palestinians and against the anti-religious political Left. Lerner is also spiritual leader of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in Berkeley, California.

Lerner is active in the “Jewish Renewal” movement and author of “Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation” (Putnam, 1994). The book was described by David Biale, chair of Jewish Studies at University of California at Davis, as “A major contribution to modern Jewish thought, a contribution that is a challenge to intellectuals even as it is accessible to a broad general audience.” Jewish Renewal is a worldwide movement grounded in Judaism’s prophetic and mystical traditions.

Lerner received a B.A. from Columbia University, studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and became a protégé of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a noted teacher of Jewish mysticism who was also a civil rights activist. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972, and received rabbinic ordination from a religious court in 1995.

Lerner is the co-author with Cornel West of a “Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin” (Putnam, 1995) and several other books on politics and theology. West, a professor at Princeton University, has said, “Michael Lerner is the most prophetic intellectual and spiritual leader of our generation. We ignore his wisdom at our peril!” In 2003, the San Diego Jewish Journal described Lerner as “the most controversial Jew in America,” writing, “He is relentlessly critical of Israel.... And he’s done more for peace than any conservative we know.” According to Howard Zinn, author of “A People’s History of the United States,” “Michael Lerner is a rare voice of sanity and intelligence in a nation where our moral values have been corrupted by the greed of the market and the ambitions of empire. He gives eloquent voice to our yearning for a union of the spiritual and the rational in the quest for peace and justice.”

The event is sponsored by Slifka Center, the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, Yale Divinity School as well as by a national Jewish peace organization, Brit Tzedek V’Shalom.

Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale is home to Young Israel House at Yale and Yale Hillel. It serves Yale students, faculty and staff as well as members of the greater New Haven community by providing social, religious and cultural programming.


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