Shaare Emeth welcomes Rabbi David Saperstein as visiting scholar

Rabbi David Saperstein will visit Congregation Shaare Emeth as the Rabbi Jeffrey B. Stiffman lecturer and the Deutsch Scholar-in-Residence for the weekend of April 12-14. 

Saperstein directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Movement to Congress and presidential administrations for decades. For more than two years, Saperstein served as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Also an attorney, he taught seminars on church–state law and Jewish law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12, Saperstein will deliver the Rabbi Jeffrey B. Stiffman lecture on “The Use and Abuse of Jewish Tradition in Contemporary Political Debates.” 

The talk will explore how Jewish tradition views religion’s role in shaping political policies and how it applies to some of the moral challenges of today. Light refreshments will follow the program; dietary laws observed. 

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On Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14, Saperstein will serve as the Deutsch Scholar-in-Residence at Shaare Emeth.  

At 6 p.m. Friday, April 13, he will discuss “Being the Hands of God: Jewish Social Justice Agenda for 2018.”

At 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14, Saperstein will discuss “Economic and Environmental Justice: Testing the Morality of Our Nation.” The talk will analyze the issues around economic and environmental justice, including an assessment of its impact on the U.S. Jewish community, and a look at insights from Jewish perspectives on the issue drawn from Jewish tradition and history.

RSVPs appreciated but not required online or to Shandi Greve Penrod at 314-569-0010. 

The Rabbi Jeffrey B. Stiffman Lecture Fund was established in May 2015 to honor Stiffman’s 50th anniversary of his ordination as rabbi. The event is funded by the Stiffman Lecture Fund and the Sh’ma Listen! Speakers Series, which is funded by the Lubin-Green Foundation, a supporting foundation of Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and Hank Webber and Chris Jacobs. 

The scholar-in-residence weekend is supported by the Fred and Elsie Deutsch Endowment Fund.