On Inauguration Day, 100 scholars of diverse religious traditions will begin to send a letter a day for the first 100 days of the new administration to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Members of the 117th Congress in the 2021 campaign of American Values, Religious Voices, organized by Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D. Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
This national, nonpartisan campaign will show how the teachings of our diverse religious traditions can offer insight about our shared American values and guidance on the most pressing issues of the day. Daily letters will be sent from January 20 through April 29, 2021.
Rabbi Weiss explains, “The letters will bring the voices of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh scholars to the ears and inboxes of our leaders in Washington and our followers across the country. This project aims to contribute constructively to our national discourse and model how we can learn from one another with a spirit of openness, respect, and curiosity. May the campaign provide hope and unity during a time of hardship and division as the letters call upon us and our elected officials to live up to our nation’s highest ideals.”
This 2021 campaign follows on the success of its inaugural 2017 iteration, sparked by the 2016 election, in which 100 letters by religion scholars of diverse faiths were sent to President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the 115th Congress. Rabbi Aaron Panken z”l, former HUC President (2014-2018) was a key early supporter of the 2017 campaign and author of Letter 50. The compilation of letters was published in American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters (University of Cincinnati Press).
American Values, Religious Voices exemplifies HUC President Andrew Rehfeld’s commitment to the important role of religious thought leadership in the Jewish public sphere, as demonstrated in HUC’s recent publication of Scriptions: Jewish Thoughts & Responses to Covid-19, an anthology of 30 faculty essays reflecting the broad scope of Jewish studies.
Follow American Values, Religious Voices on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and subscribe to the campaign.