Rabbi Saperstein Speaks at “Interfaith Voices” Celebration
Last night, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, was a guest speaker at the 10th anniversary of “Interfaith Voices,” a national public radio program on religion and news. He spoke on a panel alongside Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon, Episcopal Bishop of Washington (retired); Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain, Georgetown University; Dr. Mary Hunt, Co-Director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER); and Caryn Mathes, General Manager, WAMU-88.5 FM.
Rabbi Saperstein has been a long-time favorite on the show, often speaking on behalf of the Reform Movement about controversial issues. In 2008, Maureen Fiedler, the host of Interfaith Voices, praised Rabbi Saperstein’s participation when reflecting on her work as the host of the show. She referenced an early episode shortly after the September 11 attacks on religion and terrorism in which Rabbi Saperstein was a guest; she recalls that he “took my breath away” as he expressed outrage over the despicable trend of Islamophobia.
In the Torah, Jews are taught to accept others, without prejudice or bias. Judaism also teaches the importance of working with others in the community to achieve social justice: “In a city where there are both Jews and Gentiles, the collectors of alms collect from both Jews and Gentiles; they feed the poor of both, visit the sick of both; bury both and restore the lost goods of both, for the sake of peace” (Yerushalmi Talmud, Tractate Demai). As such, interfaith cooperation is a cornerstone of the Reform Movement’s social justice work, and radio shows like “Interfaith Voices” help lift up and support that work.
You can visit the RAC’s Interfaith resource page to learn about our work with other faith communities, and visit the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign website to learn about the RAC’s involvement in combating Islamophobia.