- location Hebrew College
1860 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02466
- cost Free and open to the public
- organizer Hebrew College Miller Center for Interreligious Leadership & Learning
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Join us for “Religious Leadership & Public Repair”: A conversation with Rev. Rob Schenck, Supreme Court whistleblower and former right-wing evangelical activist, and Abigail E. Disney, filmmaker/philanthropist/activist.
The conversation, moderated by Rabbi Or Rose, Director of Hebrew College’s Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership, will include clips from Disney’s award-winning documentary, The Armor of Light, to explore Schenck’s evolution as a minister, his relationship with Disney, and their reflections on the need to forge relationships across divides. This will include discussion of lessons learned, current projects, and future possibilities.
About the film “Armor of Light”
The film captures Schenck’s journey of conscience, as he began to question the consistency of the pro-gun and pro-life stances of the far-right evangelical movement that he represented at the time. This would eventually lead to Schenck’s break from evangelical orthodoxy on guns, abortion, and the public display of religious symbols.
Reverend Dr. Rob Schenck spent nearly four decades as a controversial far-right national figure. The once prominent anti-abortion activist has since repudiated his radical conservative positions and has dedicated himself to promoting racial justice, reducing gun violence, and fostering religious inclusion. As part of his new mission to repair damage done to democracy and the social fabric, Rob is working on a book exposing how he and others recruited wealthy religious right operatives to exert undue influence on conservative Supreme Court justices. He has voluntarily cooperated with numerous investigations into corruption at the High Court, including testifying before Congress. He is serving as a Hebrew College Visiting Faculty member for the 2023-2024 academic year, working closely with the College’s Miller Center for Interreligious Leadership & Learning.
Abigail E. Disney advocates for real changes to the way capitalism operates in today’s world. As a philanthropist and social activist, she has worked with organizations supporting peacebuilding, gender justice, and systemic cultural change. She is a documentary filmmaker who won an Emmy for her film, The Armor of Light. Her latest film, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, which she co-directed with Kathleen Hughes, made its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film screened in select theaters and is available on demand. In Season 4 of the podcast All Ears, Abigail uses the film as a jumping-off point to ask big-thinking business leaders, union organizers, economists, and others how they would fix our broken economy.
She is also Chair and Co-Founder of Level Forward, an ecosystem of storytellers, entrepreneurs, and social change-makers dedicated to balancing artistic vision, social impact, and stakeholder return. She also created the nonprofit Peace is Loud, which uses storytelling to advance social movements, and the Daphne Foundation, which supports organizations working for a more equitable, fair and peaceful New York City.
Rabbi Or Rose is the founding Director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College. Before assuming this position in 2016, he worked in various administrative and teaching capacities at Hebrew College for over a decade, including serving as a founding faculty member and Associate Dean of the Rabbinical School. Rabbi Rose was also one of the creators of CIRCLE, The Center for Interreligious & Community Leadership Education, cosponsored by Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School (2007-2017). In addition to his work at Hebrew College, Rose has taught for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, The Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Me’ah, and in a variety of other academic, religious, and civic contexts throughout North America and in Israel. Rose is the co-editor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from Around the Maggid’s Table (Jewish Lights), and the award-winning anthology, My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis). His most recent publication is the anthology Words To Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement (Orbis 2018). In 2009-2010, he was selected as a member of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s inaugural North American Scholar’s Circle. In 2014, Northeastern University honored him for his interreligious educational efforts.