CONWAY, Ark. (February 5, 2014) – The 2014 Ben J. Altheimer
Lecture on Judaism and Civil Rights at Hendrix College presents Jews and “I Do’s”
Joshua Lesser on Tuesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. in Reves Recital
Hall in the Trieschmann Fine Arts Building.
Supported by a grant from the Ben J. Altheimer
Charitable Foundation, Inc., the annual Judaism and Civil Rights Lecture is
intended to highlight the role of Jews and/or Judaism in the pursuit of civil
The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception
will follow in Trieschmann Gallery. For more information, contact Hendrix
religious studies professor Dr. Robert Williamson at 501-505-1559 or WilliamsonR@hendrix.edu.
About the Lecture
Jewish voices have been in the forefront of religious communities advocating
for marriage equality. This effort was
first about advocating for civil rights for LGBQ people and then for their
religious rites and rights. Blending activism and spirituality, progressive
Jewish movements have played a key role in what has been a rapidly changing
environment while helping broaden the religious nature of the playing field and
the conversation of marriage equality.
backdrop, there are important questions of the separation of church and state
in relation to marriage, questioning heteronormative relationship values,
privilege and the institution of marriage itself. The social justice opportunities of the civil
rights movement for marriage equality has the possibility for all of us to
reexamine and reshape a foundational institution of our society.
About the Speaker
is the founder of Congregation Bet Haverim in Atlanta and a pioneering advocate
for LGBT rights in Judaism and beyond. An activist from an early age, Rabbi
Lesser is a founding member of the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta and served
as the co-chair of Georgians against Discrimination, formed in opposition to
Georgia’s marriage amendment. Dedicated to human rights for all, Lessere has
served on the boards of the Reconstructionist movement’s Tikkun Olam Committee and
the Anti-Defamation League. He is also rabbinic editor of the groundbreaking Torah
Queeries: A Weekly Torah Commentary (NYU Press, 2009).
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in
engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year,
Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by
U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change
the Way You Think about Colleges,
as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and
the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United
Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.