Rabbi and longtime peace activist Melissa Weintraub will discuss “Waging Peace in the Context of Violent Conflict” in a 7:30 p.m. lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the auditorium of the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
The lecture is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and is free and open to the public.
Drawing on 16 years of experience in Middle East face-to-face encounters, Weintraub will explore how such encounters build a culture of civil discourse and create human connections across lines of enmity.
“It is when we look into the face of another human being – truly look – that revelation takes place,” says Weintraub. “The face is the closest approximation of divinity, of revelation, that we as human beings can know.” She especially will focus on how face-to-face encounters in the context of violent conflict may promote reconciliation and peace.
Weintraub is co-founder and executive director emerita of Encounter, an organization dedicated to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to healing rifts within the Jewish community that have formed in the wake of that conflict.
For her work with Encounter, Weintraub won the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, which honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change.
Weintraub graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in political theory and women’s studies and from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, which she represents as a rabbinic scholar in Jewish congregations throughout the United States. She currently is writing a book exploring Jewish religious responses to terror.
Weintraub’s presentation is part of the Jay Phillips Center’s Rabbis-in-Residence program, which is supported by a grant from the Blythe Brenden Fund of the Ted and Dr. Roberta Mann Foundation.
The Jay Phillips Center is a joint enterprise of St. Thomas and St. John’s University in Collegeville.
More information can be found on the center’s website.