Social Justice in Theology and Practice – the Abrahamic Traditions

A panel consisting of Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, The Rev. Dr. Carol Flett and Aisha Rahman esq. discussed social justice in theology and practice on Tuesday February 25, 2014 at the American Turkish Friendship Association. The panel was moderated by Jena Luedtke.

Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s Director of Social Justice and Interfaith Initiatives, is a Conservative rabbi, ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1998. Batya works with local Jewish organizations to promote social justice projects and awareness in the community, and is actively engaged with the diverse and vibrant interfaith and multiethnic community in the greater Washington area. She serves as President of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington as well and is a co-chair of the Montgomery County Executive’s Faith Community Advisory Working Group. She has a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University, a degree in Master of Hebrew Letters from The University of Judaism, as well as a Master’s degree and Rabbinic Ordination from J.T.S. Batya has worked in Jewish Education at all levels and at a number of social service agencies. Batya lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, and their three children, Elana, Noah and Meirav.

The Rev. Dr. Carol Flett, Ecumenical & Inter-religious Officer for the Episcopal diocese of Washington, served as a parish priest for 25 years in Massachusetts and the Washington area. She earned a Doctorate of Ministry in 2000, focusing on congregational development and anti-racism education. Post-911, she began using her anti-racism education training to develop interfaith dialogues through the Massachusetts Council of Church, and in DC, at the Washington National Cathedral. She initiated the Bethesda-Rockville Interfaith group, and in DC, continues to coordinate the Abrahamic Roundtable and the Daughters of Abraham book group. She enjoys travel and has visited Israel four times, joined an interfaith group that traveled in Spain, and an interfaith group that traveled in Turkey. She and her husband have visited in Spain, France, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, Mexico and Honduras.

Aisha Rahman, Esq. is Executive Director of KARAMAH and also serves as the head of the organization’s Family Law Division. Ms. Rahman received her higher education at Emory University and The University of Tennessee College of Law, where she was a staff editor of the Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy and headed the Muslim Law Student Association. Ms. Rahman came to KARAMAH from Legal Aid of East Tennessee where she was a staff attorney litigating cases on domestic violence. In her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, Ms. Rahman chaired the Social Justice Committee of the Shura (consultative council) at the Muslim Community of Knoxville, an important leadership position.

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