You may notice that I have changed the title of this series slightly. Formerly, I called it Peacemaking. However, I have learned from Rabbi Amy Eilberg‘s wonderful book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, that many extensively involved in peace efforts make a distinction in those efforts between three terms. ‘Peacekeeping’ is used to refer to military intervention for the purpose of ending violence and keeping it in check. ‘Peacemaking’ is used primarily to refer to large-group, national, and international efforts at diplomacy. ‘Peacebuilding’ however, refers to efforts on any level, but especially on the personal level of developing habits, relationship skills, and relationships that work to prevent violence coming about. This last definition fits more closely what I am seeking to explore in the conversations I am having with peace activists from the different world religions and humanist perspectives. I am wanting to enable you to be aware that there are peace activists in all of the world’s different faiths and worldviews. I am also wanting us all to become aware of the peacebuilding resources that come from each of the world’s faiths and worldviews.
In this episode I look at peacebuilding resources from Judaism. On the day this episode was recorded it was Holocaust Remembrance Day. If there ever is a reason for us to be urgently working at peacebuilding, it is the memory of the Holocaust! The wisdom and resources from Judaism that have come in response to that experience are profound and vital for us all in peacebuilding.
My guest for this episode is Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer. Rabbi Kreimer has been involved in interfaith communication and peacebuilding efforts for nearly four decades. She has been so creative, innovative, and extensively involved in so many important peacebuilding conversations and projects, one simply can Google her name and vast information and resources are available.
Rabbi Kreimer is a part of Reconstructionist Judaism. She received her rabbinical training at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is now Associate Professor Emeritus at that College. She earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Temple University.
I drew my questions for Rabbi Kreimer from three sources: The book she co-authored with Kelly James Clark and Aziz Abu Sarah, titled, Strangers, Neighbors, Friends: Muslim-Christian-Jewish Reflections on Compassion and Peace; Her delightful book, Parenting as a Spiritual Journey: Deepening Ordinary and Extraordinary Events into Sacred Occasions; and the Reconstructing Judaism website ( reconstructingjudaism.org ) where you can learn more about Rabbi Kreimer, the projects in which she is involved, and the resource from Judaism that are vital for peacebuilding.
The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.