American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Organizers are announcing the launch of a powerful grassroots initiative titled “American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters.” This national bipartisan campaign brings together 100 scholars from different religious traditions to articulate core American values that have grounded our nation in the past and should guide us forward at this time of political transition. For the first 100 days of the new administration, a one-page letter, authored by a participating scholar, will be sent to the President, Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, and Members of the House and Senate. The letters also will be shared with subscribers and available to the general public on the campaign website at ValuesandVoices.com. The first letter will appear on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

“‘American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters.’ aims to contribute constructively to our national discourse,” says Andrea L. Weiss, Associate Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. “This campaign is meant to reaffirm who we are as Americans, and to model how we can learn from one another and work together for the common good.”

Weiss created the campaign in collaboration with Lisa Weinberger, Creative Director and Founder of Masters Group Design in Philadelphia, and with the assistance of an Advisory Committee that reflects the diversity at the heart of this campaign. Committee members include letter writers Deirdre Good, Interim Associate Dean and Visiting Professor of New Testament at Drew Theological School; Herbert R. Marbury, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University; Hussain Rashid, Founder of Islamicate, L3C; Elsie R. Stern, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Bible at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; and Mark S. Smith, Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminary. The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is convening and funding the project, which will feature letters from President Aaron Panken, as well as faculty members Weiss, Tamara Eskenazi, and Joshua Garroway.

Authors of the 100 letters come from academic institutions and foundations across the nation and represent the rich religious and racial diversity that defines this country. 

Click here to subscribe to the letters.

Engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @valuesandvoices.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu