Human Rights Shabbat

Human Rights Shabbaton 5778, December 8 – 10, 2017

Friday, December 8 (6:15-9:30 PM) Larry M. Diamond Tikkun Olam Youth Award Dinner (6:15 PM) and Award Ceremony (7:30).  RSVP and pre-payment required: or 617-323-0486.

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"

Sunday, December 10, 10 am to noon, Tikkun Olam Honoree will speak to the Chaverim School. Adults welcome.


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. This gift also established the Larry M. Diamond Tikkun Olam Youth Award, which is awarded on the Friday night of the Human Rights Shabbaton. Now the weekend is filled with Tikkun Olam awareness and action.

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.

What is the Larry M. Diamond Tikkun Olam Youth Award?

The Larry M. Diamond Tikkun Olam Youth Award honors a young member of the HBT community who has made a longstanding commitment to a cause or to an organization that works to repair the world. One intention of the award is to inspire more young people to get involved. The awardee receives a small financial award and certificate. In addition to speaking to the congregation on Friday night, s/he also addresses the Chaverim School students.

Criteria for selection:

  • The award is open to anyone from high school to age 25 who is a current member of the HBT community.
  • Candidates will submit an essay describing a longtime project, volunteer activity or other commitment to social justice work, why they got involved, and what they have learned.
  • Candidates will supply one recommendation from someone who has supervised or worked with them in the project or activity described.
  • Candidates must be available to come to HBT for the weekend of Human Rights Shabbat. The honoree will speak on Friday night, attend the Shabbat morning service featuring a Human Rights speaker, and then speak to our students on Sunday morning.

Click HERE for application information
Deadline: October 20, 2017

Previous Recipients of the Larry M. Diamond Tikkun Olam Youth Award:
2014 Tali Smookler
2015 Rachel Klepper
2016 Julian Cranberg

Larry Harmon, Michael Jonas, and Larry Diamond, 2013

Larry Harmon, Michael Jonas, and Larry Diamond, 2013