Avi Schaeffer Symposium - Archive 2015
Avi Schaeffer Symposium - Archive 2015

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Join us...

The 2nd Annual North American Symposium in Memory of Avi Schaefer

Race Inequality in America:
Judaism, Human Equality and the Quest for Justice 

Featuring a conversation between Harvard Law School Professor Randall Kennedy and Hadar’s Rabbi Shai Held

For audio recorded live at the event, click here.

Fifty years ago, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote: "Few of us seem to realize how insidious, how radical, how universal an evil racism is. Few of us realize that racism is man’s gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking."  America has undoubtedly come far since Heschel spoke these words, but how far?  Where have we come, and where we do still need to go?  Join us for a remarkable day of learning, as we explore Jewish approaches to human equality and discuss some of the most painful and pressing questions facing America.


9:30am - 10:00am

10:10am - 10:25am​
Opening Remarks

10:25am -11:00am
Rabbi Shai Held Opening Lecture: Human Equality Between the Bible and the Streets of New York 

11:10am - 12:10pm
Breakout Session #1
Rabbi Jill Jacobs - Jewish Approaches to Imprisonment and Mass Incarceration
Yavilah Mccoy - Jews of Color
Rabbi Ethan Tucker - The Role of Judges and Courts in Achieving Justice
Rabbi Susan Talve - Ferguson: A First-Hand Report

12:10pm - 12:20pm
12:25pm - 1:25pm
​Breakout Session #2​
Professor Randall Kennedy - Affirmative Action: Historical, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives
Dena Weiss - The Sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rabbi Jason Rubenstein - How Jews Pray for the Government, About it, and Against it
Rabbi David Ellenson - "A Letter from a St. Augustine Jail: A Rabbinic Response to Civil Rights."

1:30pm - 2:15pm

2:15pm - 3:30pm
Race in America: Past, Present, and Future-- Professor Randall Kennedy and Rabbi Shai Held in Conversation

​Laurie and Arthur Gross-Schaefer Closing Remarks