Jewish learning Ep #8: Thank You Dean Thurman: Remembering an American Spiritual Master
I found the piece so compelling because [it showed] an opportunity for a dialogue and a relationship that continued to have ripple effects in the lives of [Howard] Thurman and Reb Zalman, their students, and their students’ students. That felt like a bit of a carrying call and model of what it means for us to talk to each other and to create space for each other.– Dr. Shively Smith
In this week’s episode, Rabbi Or Rose reflects on the influence of the esteemed theologian, educator, and Civil Rights leader Reverend Howard Thurman, as seen through the lens of the relationship between Reverend Thurman and Rose’s own spiritual teacher, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.
Rabbi Or Rose is the founding director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership at Hebrew College. Rabbi Rose is the author or editor of various scholarly and popular works. Reading Or’s essay is Dr. Shively T.J. Smith, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Boston University’s School of Theology and self-described student of Howard Thurman’s teachings.
Tune in this week as Dr. Shively Smith reads us through and reflects on Rabbi Or Rose’s gratitude of Howard Thurman and the impact he had on the landscape of what is possible for interreligious harmony and cooperation — as well as how we can all carry on this work in our own religious practices.
What You’ll Discover from this Episode:
- How Howard Thurman served as a touchstone of inspiration for Or’s work in interreligious settings.
- Why anyone who values interreligious compassion has reason to be thankful to Howard Thurman.
- What we can all learn from Reb Zalman in this story about our assumptions of others, especially in a world where intolerance and hostility seem to be on the rise.
- How Shively sees Or’s essay embodying the legacy and lineage required to pass a story like this down through the generations.
- Thurman’s and Reb Zalman’s influence on the Jewish Renewal movement.
Featured on this Episode:
Rabbi Or Rose (writer) is the founding director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College. Rabbi Rose is the author or editor of various scholarly and popular works, including Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi: Essential Teachings (Orbis Books).
Dr. Shively Smith (reader) is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Boston University School of Theology. She has written a monograph, Strangers to Family: Diaspora and 1 Peter’s Invention of God’s Household , and articles on Howard Thurman, womanist hermeneutics, and Christian Testament Studies in general.
Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, PhD (host) is Director of the Hebrew College Innovation Lab. He is Research Professor in the Department of Music & Judaic Studies at Tufts University and Senior Consultant for Hillel International. The author of several books, among his many awards are a 2018 Hebrew College honorary degree, a GRAMMY nomination for his CD Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda, the Edgar M. Bronfman Award for Lifetime Accomplishment in Hillel Professional Leadership, and the Tufts Hosea Ballou Medal.
A special thank you for this episode’s musical contributions:
Intro by: Jackson Mercer
Jackson is an Ordination Candidate at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He grew up at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, CA where he cultivated a love of Judaism, embolden with music, spirituality and justice.
Esa Einai (Psalm 121:1)
Music by Jackson Mercer
Guitar and Melody by Jackson Mercer
Harmonies by Cantor Rosalie Will, Ilana Sandberg, Rabbi Micah Shapiro, Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, Noah Diamondstein, Ryan Leszner, Eliana Light.
Outro by: Marty Lamar
Marty Austin Lamar is a musician, writer, and thespian. Marty currently serves as The Director of Music and Creative Arts at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, and as a full-time lecturer and coordinator of the BFA Musical Theater program at Howard University.