Newsletter 2021 - 2022 - Page 2

From the Chair of the Board

Many have heard that Rabbi Akiva pronounced , “ And you shall love your neighbor as yourself ” ( Leviticus 19:18 ) as the great principle in the Torah . Less well known is the opinion of Ben Azzai , who suggested that an overarching , greater principle is derived from Genesis 5:1 , “ This is the book of the generations of Adam . In the day of God ’ s creation of Adam , in the image of God Adam was created .” ( Sifra , Kedoshim ; also cited in Bereishit Rabbah 24:7 ). Within the message of Ben Azzai we hear a voice that challenges us to recognize the fundamental , God-like humanity in everyone and anyone . And that resonates deeply with the 66-year vision , mission and history of AJR and our devotion to a pluralism which we see reflected in a 3,000 - year tradition .

Our ability to educate and nurture rabbis , cantors and Jewish leaders who can see the spark of the Divine in ALL is paramount to our administration and faculty , and to the incredible students we attract . The creativity with which we identify and develop diverse paths to reach out to the hearts , minds and souls of ALL whom our students and alumni will encounter , serves as a model for other seminaries . Our enormous growth and diversification during the past few years - amidst a global pandemic , crises of inequity and injustice , and threats to democracy both in the U . S . and abroad - speaks to the resonance of our vision for a broad , open and diverse Jewish world . And that message enables our alumni to be leaders within their Jewish communities , interacting with all ,
“ Our ability to educate and nurture rabbis , cantors and Jewish leaders who can see the spark of the Divine in ALL is paramount to our administration and faculty , and to the incredible students we attract .”
caring for all , seeing the spark of God in ALL . If you share our vision , mission and sense of purpose , become a fully committed , passionate part of our incredible AJR family . Support us in any and all ways . Help others to learn about our amazing and holy work here at AJR . Become a partner with us as we further blaze a path for the decades ahead . Together we can make our world a more caring , more just , more compassionate place for all of God ’ s creations .
Dr . William Liss-Levinson
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