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“For In the Image of God Was Adam Created” – Jewish Attitudes to the ‘Other’: Xenophobic Bias vs. Expansive Inclusion in the Judaic Tradition

November 23, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


A virtual class presented by Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller


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Who is Adam? Are all humans created in God’s image?

Probing the sources of racism in Judaism, this seminar takes a critical look at classical Jewish texts that sanction slavery and promote prejudice and intolerance.  Countering with core teachings that affirm the essential humanity of all and nurture an acceptance of difference while boldly renouncing any form of human subjugation or subordination, we will argue that Jewish tradition calls on us to overcome our prejudices, to “love the stranger” and to aspire to a world of unity and amity among God’s diverse creations.

The session will include sources that establish a Jewish case for reparations as well as a plea for our active involvement in advocating for racial justice and for foundational social and structural change at this moment of national crisis.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller was Executive Director of the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA for 40 years.

He is currently the Director Emeritus and is also the director of the Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals. He was ordained in 1971 at Yeshiva University where he completed a Masters in Rabbinic Literature. Chaim is a lecturer in the Departments of Sociology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA and in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He is also a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He was a founding member of Americans for Peace Now. The International Hillel Center granted Chaim the Hillel Professional Recognition Award “for blending the love of Jewish tradition with the modern intellectual approach of the university.” Chaim was a rabbinic consultant to Barbra Streisand during the making of the film Yentl.

He is married to Dr. Doreen Seidler-Feller, a clinical psychologist, and is the father of Shulie, a photo-journalist and Shaul, a rabbinic student at Yeshiva University, who is pursuing an advanced degree in Jewish history.