Human Rights in the light of the Jewish Tradition – Responsibility towards Humanity

In the midst of escalating conflict and hostility in Israel and Palestine, what does faith have to say about upholding and advocating for human rights? What does action to honour and protect the human rights of all people within the Occupied Territories look like in practice? By opening up a dialogue between faiths, we’ll explore how faith can speak into the call for reconciliation, encounter and justice.

The Beckly Lecture 2023 will be delivered by Rabbi Nava Hefetz, Educational Direction of Rabbis for Human Rights. Running programmes dealing with Human Rights in Israel, the occupied territories and overseas, Rabbi Nava works with Israeli communities to expose them to the reality of the Occupation and examine its repercussions from a Jewish standpoint. This work has included developing an interdisciplinary programme teaching human rights from a Jewish and international perspective, as well as supervising Rabbis across Israel working on human rights issues.

Rabbis for Human Rights currently runs programs supporting Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, fighting poverty and food insecurity and providing legal protection to vulnerable Palestinians in the occupied territories, as well as harnessing the teachings of the Abrahamic faiths as a means of reconciliation and understanding. 

In 2012, Rabbi Nava launched the initiative Miklat Israel (Israel’ Shelter), which aims to hide and protect African asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan in Israeli families. Her past work has included curating exhibitions for the Diaspora Museum, working within the Israeli education system and working as a Rabbi in Johannesburg, Pretoria and China.

Rabbi Nava will speak for around 45 minutes, followed by a chance for conversation and Q&A. The lecture will be livestreamed online as well as delivered live from the Warwick Suite at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel.

The Beckly Social Services Lecture takes place every year, as one of the fringe events at the Methodist Conference.

John Henry Beckly, a lay Wesleyan Methodist, founded the trust which is responsible for the lectures in 1926.

According to the original charter of the Beckly Trust, ‘the function of the Lectureship shall be to set forth the social implications of Christianity and to further the development of a Christian sociology and the expressions of the Christian attitude in reference to social, industrial, economic and international subjects.’

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