At Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, April 6, from 1:30 to 5:30, The Shalom Center will be honoring as Prophetic Voices of our time three extraordinary national figures -- Rev. Bob Edgar, Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, and Ruth Messinger -- and three extraordinary Philadelphia people -- Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Iftekhar Hussein, and Beth Stroud.
The six people are amazing in themselves. AND -- Nowhere else and nowhen else that I know of has any Jewish organization honored Christians, Jews, and Muslims at the same moment as prophetic voices in our world. This carries forward and supports The Shalom Center's tireless work for peace, justice, and healing of the earth.
At 3:00 p.m, there will be a public gathering where the honorees will speak their prophetic truths. Tickets for the public gathering will cost $36 a person if purchased now; $45 at the door. Please send your checks to The Shalom Center, 6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia PA 19119, earmarked "April."
For a more personal connection with the honorees, there will be a luncheon at 1:30 (by reservation only; see below for more information).
In addition, especially if you can't get to Philadelphia on April 6, but even if you can -- you can provide a written expression of your support for any or all of these six people and this coalitional work, by placing a greeting in the program book. Below you will find information on how to do this.
Please let the Shalom Center know as soon as possible if we should expect you, and the number of people who will be coming with you. Please write The Shalom Center at 6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia PA 19119, to earmark your contribution and, if you are able to do so, to reserve seats at the luncheon
The six we are honoring: --
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert chairs the Department of Religion at Temple University, and was director of its Program in Women's Studies. She was dean of students at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is an activist and writer in the struggle for full equality for women and for the gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender communities in Jewish and American life, and in 2000 edited an anthology on Voices of the Religious Left.
Iftekhar Hussein chairs the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, working for full civil rights and liberties, political empowerment, and society-wide respect for the Muslim community. He initiated and taught a series of widely admired courses on Islam for synagogues and churches in Philadelphia -- including Mishkan Shalom.
Beth Stroud has served with distinction as a pastor for the First
United Methodist Church of Germantown and its prophetic religious commitments. She was for seven years an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church, and was "defrocked" by the Church for her vigorous presence as an out-of-the-closet lesbian and advocate for an inclusive Christianity.
Reverend Bob Edgar was for ten years a Congressman from Pennsylvania, and more recently general secretary of the National Council of Churches. In that role he made the NCC a force in work to address poverty in America, and led the mainstream Protestant churches in opposition to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. He is now head of Common Cause, working to reduce the influence of unaccountable wealth in American political life.
Ruth Messinger, former President of the Borough of Manhattan, is head of American Jewish World Service. In addition to mobilizing Jewish support in body and pocketbook for grass-roots economic and cultural development in the impoverished world, she sparked the campaign to end genocide in Darfur.
Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed is secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America, the umbrella organization for a broad spectrum of American Muslims and the sponsor of an annual gathering of more than 30,000 Muslims. He took the lead in encouraging Muslims to reach out in new ways toward creating fruitful relationships among the Abrahamic communities in America, and especially between Muslims and Jews.
It will be a delight to be able to greet you on April 6 and join with you in honoring these amazing people and supporting The Shalom Center’s work!
Shalom, Arthur (Rabbi Arthur Waskow)
P. S. Reservations for the lunch will include a donation of $360 a person.
To place a greeting or tribute in the program booklet, please send to The Shalom Center, along with your check for your presence and/ or your printed tribute, a separate page of the text of what you'd like to say to and for Rebecca. It will be printed in a space according to this separate contribution:
Full page, $1,000; 1/2 page, $500; 1/4 page, $250; 1" x 4" column, $100.