Human Rights Shabbat
Larry M. Diamond Memorial
Human Rights Shabbat 5778
December 9, 2017
Supported by the Larry M. Diamond Tikkun Olam Fund
Saturday, December 9, 10 AM – 2 PM Shabbat service followed by a Kiddush lunch and speaker, Imam Abdul-Malik Merchant of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), "In our backyard: Muslim experience during the Trump administration"
What is HBT’s Human Rights Shabbat?
Since 2009 our congregation has participated in Human Rights Shabbat, a project of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. In 2011, T’ruah honored our rabbi as a Rabbinic Human Rights Hero.
Each year, we hear from a leader in one aspect of Human Rights work. We have been honored to learn about a range of human rights issues in the US and worldwide, including the plight of refugees, criminal justice reform, and the impact of climate change on poorer countries and individuals. Our congregation initiated the idea of using The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the place of the haftarah, or prophetic reading, for the day.
Who was Larry Diamond?
Larry came to HBT with his partner, Linda Chernick, after over fifty years of Jewish engagement and social justice activism. Larry grew up in Chicago with his parents and two brothers, and was drawn to all kinds of learning. He became a consultant and a professor and a life-long-activist. Larry combined integrity and commitment to progressive values with a deep spiritual side that he nurtured throughout his life.
Larry and Linda quickly became leaders in our community, helping to shape adult study and spiritual life, encouraging the creation of a men’s group, and generating more congregational involvement in Tikkun Olam. As chair of HBT’s Tikkun Olam committee, Larry Diamond worked tirelessly year-round to draw attention to a wide variety of issues. He convened an important community meeting addressing gun violence in the city of Boston, and also arranged a neighborhood meeting with candidates in the 2013 Boston mayoral election. That drew a large crowd from the community. As a citizen, activist, advocate, teacher, and leader, Larry ambitiously changed the landscape of our culture, often attacking several issues at once.
Following Larry’s untimely death in October 2013, the Diamond family, along with Linda’s brother, contributed a generous gift to Hillel B’nai Torah in Larry’s memory to support the annual Human Rights Shabbat.