Rabbi Lance Sussman to present program on social action at TC on July 23

Rabbi Lance Sussman, Ph.D., formerly of Temple Concord and Binghamton University, will show and discuss the documentary "Voices of Justice: Reform Rabbis and Moral Leadership in America" on Wednesday, July 23, at 7 pm at Temple Concord, 9 Riverside Dr., Binghamton. The documentary was co-produced by Sussman and Rabbi Gary Zola, Ph.D., the executive director of American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, OH. The program will include a short introduction and a question-and-answer period. The public is invited to attend. Reservations are requested by calling Temple Concord at 723-7355. The cost for adults is $3; children and students may attend at no charge.

"Voices of Justice: Reform Rabbis and Moral Leadership in America" traces the history of social justice in Reform Judaism, beginning with its biblical roots and proceeding with how the message of tikkun olam was advocated by Reform rabbis beginning with the American Civil War and abolition. Other topics include women’s rights, anti-Nazism, Zionism and civil rights. The film contains rare historical footage, some of which has never been seen before. It features Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, a member of the first ordination class of Hebrew Union College (HUC); Rabbi Stephen Wise, a leading voice of American Zionism before World War II; and Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, Wise’s successor after World War II, who spoke to the United Nations urging partition of Palestine.

The film also includes footage of Rabbi Joachim Prinz addressing the "I Have a Dream" rally in Washington, DC, in 1963. It concludes with the farewell address of Rabbi Jacob Marcus, founder of the American Jewish Archives and president of the Central Conference of America Rabbis (CCAR).

Sussman began his service as senior rabbi of Reform Congregation Kenesseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA, in 2001. This followed his serving at Temple Concord for 11 years. "A renowned author and dynamic lecturer, Sussman has published numerous books and articles, including ‘Isaac Lesser and the Making of American Judaism’ and ‘Sharing Sacred Moments,’" said organizers of the event.

Sussman is the national chairman of the CCAR Press, the publishing arm of the CCAR. Currently, he is overseeing the production of the new Reform prayer book. At Binghamton University, Sussman served as chairman of the Jewish Studies Department. Recently he accepted an invitation to teach a seminar in American Jewish history at Princeton University. Beginning in September 2008, Sussman will appear in a CNN public service announcement along with five other rabbis and six imams, which will promote Jewish-Muslim dialogue in the United States.

Organizing Sussman’s presentation are Debbie Saltzman and Phyllis Kellenberger, Temple Concord co-chairwomen for social action.