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The Promise of Judaism: A Dialogue

Monday, October 12, 2009, 7-9 p.m.

Abode of the Message, New Lebanon, New York

For this evening program, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan will join together with Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Rami Shapiro and Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum for a dialogue on the role of Judaism in modern society. Rabia Povich, Seven Pillars' Board Chair, will moderate.

Rabbi Phyllis Berman is a leader within the Jewish Renewal Movement, a facilitator for the Tent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah, an author, and ESOL educator. She is founding Director of the Riverside Language Program, an intensive English language school for adult legal immigrants and refugees. She co-authored Tales of Tikkun, Getting Into It, and with Rabbi Arthur Waskow, A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: The Jewish Life-Spiral as a Spiritual Path. 

Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been one of the creators and leaders of Jewish renewal since 1969. In 1983, he founded and has since been director of The Shalom Center. In 2007, Newsweek named him one of America’s fifty most influential rabbis. He is a co-author of The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, & Muslims (Beacon, 2006). He pioneered in peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians and in opposing the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. He also pioneered in the shaping of Eco-Judaism, both through his books (Down-to-Earth Judaism; Torah of the Earth (2 vols); and The Shalom Center’s religiously rooted social action. He taught at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1982 till 1989 and as a Visiting Professor in religion at Swarthmore, Vassar, Temple University, and Drew University.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is a rabbi, author, and adjunct professor of religious studies at Middle Tennessee State University.

Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum is a Jewish inspirational speaker and storyteller who specializes in Jewish mysticism and hasidic tales, and also teaches ecumenical courses, such as, “Spiritual Stories from Around the World,” and “Guru, Rebbe, Saint, and Bodhisattva.” He co-taught with Swami Atmarupananda– “Om-Shalom: An Encounter between Judaism and Hinduism”; and engaged in a dialogue with Sheika Fariha Friedrich-- “Sufi-Jewfi: An Encounter between Mystic Judaism and Mystic Islam.” Maggid Yitzhak directs The Jewish Spirit Maggid Training Program. He is the author of ten books on Jewish spirituality, including:The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem TovJewish Spiritual PracticesAn Open Heart: The Mystic Path of Loving PeopleStorytelling and Spirituality in JudaismJewish Tales of Mystic Joy and Jewish Tales of Holy Women.

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, is the spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International, a mystical and ecumenical fellowship rooted in the visionary legacy of his grandfather, Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is also President of the Suluk Academy for esoteric studies. Pir Zia holds a doctoral degree in religion from Duke University, is a recipient of the U Thant Peace Award, and is a newly appointed Lindisfarne Fellow.

Rabia Povich, Seven Pillars' Board Chair, is a seasoned public policy and nonprofit professional, with broad experience in social justice, poverty alleviation, organizational development, communications, and resource development. Currently she co-manages a national initiative designed to strengthen state policies that support the economic advancement of low-income working families. She has been a student of Sufism for over 30 years.  Deborah lives in the mountains of Virginia and holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.


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