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Rabbi to speak at Vanderbilt about peace in the Middle East

Nov. 25, 2008, 10:18 AM

The possibility for peace in the Middle East will be addressed at Vanderbilt University by a rabbi famed for his involvement in the American civil rights movement.

Rabbi Everett Gendler will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, in Room 126 of Wilson Hall on the Vanderbilt campus. The lecture, part of a course called "The Nonviolent Struggle" taught by the civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson, is free and open to the public. A video podcast of the lecture will be posted on VUCast, the website of Vanderbilt News Service, at

The lecture is titled "Nonviolence in the Middle East … Not an Oxymoron."

"Rabbi Gendler is one of the foremost Jewish prophets in the country, and the world," said Lawson, Distinguished University Professor at Vanderbilt. "He marched with us in Selma (Ala.) and was a prominent part of the coalition against the Vietnam War."

Gendler has served as rabbi to a number of congregations throughout the country and in Latin America. In addition to his support of the civil rights movement and Jewish nonviolence, he is also an ardent supporter of other progressive causes, including the egalitarian Jewish Havurah movement, and environmental and conservation issues.

Since retirement, he and his wife, Mary, a psychologist, photographer, and social activist, have been traveling regularly to India, where they are helping the Tibetans in exile develop a community education program in strategic nonviolent struggle.

The lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Provost at Vanderbilt, the Program in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Students for Nonviolence.

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS