Focusing on the areas of religion, media, government, education, and academia, the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lectures will present the ethical and moral imperatives that come to bear in the obligations of religion to motivate and to assist these sectors in engaging citizens to pursue the common good for all.
Chautauqua, according to the late, great Teddy Roosevelt, is "the most American thing in America." It's also the country's oldest ideas festival. Since its founding in 1874, Chautauqua has attracted the likes of Amelia Earhart, FDR and Susan B. Anthony. The rich tradition continues in 2011. Speakers include New York Times contributor Stanley Fish, groundbreaking religious commentator Karen Armstrong, leading foreign policy analyst Robin Wright, noted historian Gordon Wood and several others. Take advantage of this exclusive offer from FORA.tv and the Chautauqua Institution, and join the discussion as these important thought leaders address the most pressing issues facing America and the world.
Rabbi David Saperstein
David Saperstein is a rabbi, lawyer, and Jewish community leader. He has served as the director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center for more than 30 years. Saperstein succeeded Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch as leader of the Washington D.C.-based political lobbying arm of the North American Reform movement. There, he advocates on a broad range of social justice issues. He directs a staff who provide extensive legislative and programmatic materials to synagogues, federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils nationwide, coordinating social action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.
Also an attorney, Rabbi Saperstein teaches advanced seminars in both First Amendment church-state law and in Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He currently co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and serves on the boards of the NAACP, LCCHR and People For the American Way. In 1999, Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
"God has not ordained capitalism or socialism. God has not ordained food stamp programs or supply side economics. These are human inventions," argues Rabbi David Saperstein, who believes that religious values must compete in the free marketplace of ideas and provide moral influence on policymaking.
Rabbi David Saperstein draws on traditional Jewish law to advocate for liberal social policies with regard to abortion and gay rights. "The fundamental right to choose that is invested in all of us as human beings," says Saperstein, "argues powerfully in a secular country like America for policies that guarantee dignity."
Popular U.S. educational and cultural movement founded in 1874. It began as a training assembly for Sunday-school teachers at Chautauqua Lake, N.Y., but gradually spread to various circuit chautauquas and broadened in scope to include general education and popular entertainments, many of which incorporated religious themes. Outstanding speakers were brought in for summer lectures and classes. The movement declined after reaching a peak in 1924 (though the Chautauqua Institution still holds meetings), but its legacy contributed to the growth of community colleges and continuing education programs. See alsolyceum movement.