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President Nick Carter of Andover Newton Theological School and Rabbi Eric Gurvis of Temple Shalom of Newton recently announced that Dr. Jennifer Peace (Ph.D. '05), Assistant Professor at Andover Newton, and Father Raymond Helmick, S.J. of Boston College, will share the 2013 Rabbi Murray I. Rothman Award for outstanding interreligious leadership. Peace and Helmick will receive the award and a cash gift at the 2013 commencement ceremonies of Andover Newton, to be held at 2 p.m. on May 18 at the First Baptist Church of Newton.
President Carter said, “In a world that daily suffers pain and violence because of religious difference, it is a source of inspiration to have leaders like Ray and Jenny who are helping us overcome the ignorance and fear that is so often the cause of these problems. Jenny represents the promise of an exciting new generation of scholars who are changing the way we understand our challenges and the ways we need to prepare leaders for pioneering interfaith work in the 21st century.”
Jennifer Howe Peace is Assistant Professor of Interfaith Studies at Andover Newton, where she co-directs the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) a joint program between ANTS and the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College. She received her doctorate in the Historical and Cultural Study of Religions from the Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Peace’s involvement in interfaith organizing outside of academia includes being a founding board member of the United Religions Initiative, an early leader of the Interfaith Youth Core, and a founding member of the Daughters of Abraham – a movement of book groups for Jewish, Christian and Muslim women. Author of numerous articles and essays on interfaith cooperation, Dr. Peace co-edited My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (2012). In addition, she serves as one of the publishers of the Journal of InterReligious Dialogue. This spring at GTU, Peace delivered the annual Surjit Singh Lecture in Comparative Religious Thought and Culture titled "Spiritual Self/Spiritual Other: Models of Transformative Interfaith Work."
Rabbi 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 in 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.