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News from the Hill May 16, 2010 | back to index

Distinguished Jewish leader Dr. Lawrence Lowenthal to be honored with Rothman interreligious award

President Nick Carter and Rabbi Eric Gurvis of Temple Shalom of Newton have announced that Dr. Lawrence Lowenthal will be the 2010 recipient of the Rabbi Murray I. Rothman Award for outstanding interreligious leadership.

Dr. Lowenthal was the executive director of the Greater Boston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, the pioneer Human Relations agency in the United States, from 1991-2008. Since 2008 Dr. Lowenthal has been lecturing and serving as an adjunct professor at Northeastern University.

A devotion to interfaith and human rights

During his 30 years of organizational work in the Greater Boston area, Dr. Lowenthal has been involved in interfaith and intergroup activities, written extensively about human rights issues for the local press, appeared often on radio and TV, hosted a local radio interview program, and taught courses on Jewish history, film, literature, and humor.

A former academic, Larry taught English and American literature at Washington State College, New York University, and Gettysburg College before moving to Israel with his family in 1970. From 1970-1975, he taught English and American Literature at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University.

Larry received his B.A. in English from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. in English from New York University.

The Rothman Award presentation

The Rothman Award, presented annually along with a modest cash prize, will be conferred during the upcoming commencement ceremonies of Andover Newton on Saturday May 22th, at 2:00 pm at the First Baptist Church in Newton, MA.

President Carter said of the winner “With this award Andover Newton and Temple Shalom seek to acknowledge a remarkable leader who so fully reflects the spirit of Rabbi Rothman. In a world that daily suffers such pain and violence because of religious difference, it is a source of inspiration to know that there are leaders like Larry who are capable of helping us overcome ignorance and fear. He has been the embodiment of hope here in Boston and the world around us.”

About Rabbi Murray I. Rothman

Rabbi Murray I. Rothman, longtime Senior Rabbi of Temple Shalom of Newton, was an exemplary rabbi and an admired figure in the Newton community, at Andover Newton, and the wider world. His accomplishments fostering interreligious dialogue were widely respected as was his work as a teacher and community leader.  He taught on the adjunct faculty of Andover Newton for many years and shaped the lives of hundreds of Christian seminarians. Upon his death in 1997, members of the congregation of Temple Shalom created this award to be conferred periodically upon that person or persons who, in the mind of the leadership of Andover Newton and Temple Shalom, have made significant contributions to interreligious understanding and who best exemplify the spirit of Rabbi Rothman.

About Temple Shalom

Temple Shalom, located in West Newton, MA, is a Reform Jewish congregation and a member of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Currently celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of its founding in 1950 Temple Shalom aspires to be a congregation whose members find meaning and fulfillment in the practice of Judaism. Its members believe that this meaning and fulfillment flows from a personal engagement with the living tradition of Judaism. The congregation emphasizes openness to diversity and full participation in the religious, educational and communal life of the community. Rabbi Eric Gurvis has served as Senior Rabbi since 1999.