August 31 Conversation with Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik is First Hosted by YU’s Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought

Senator Joseph Lieberman will discuss religion and democracy, his political career and his new book at Aug. 31 Strauss Center event.

Senator Joseph Lieberman will discuss religion and democracy, his political career and his new book at Aug. 31 Strauss Center event.

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman will discuss religion and democracy, his historic political career and his new book, The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath in a wide-ranging, one-on-one conversation with Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik on Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in Lamport Auditorium, 2540 Amsterdam Ave. on YU’s Washington Heights Wilf Campus, is open to the public and serves as the first in a series of “Great Conversations on Religion and Democracy” convened by the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva. It takes place on the first day of classes in the fall semester and marks the formal beginning of Yeshiva University’s academic year.

The Straus Center is named in honor of Moshael J. Straus, an investment executive, alumnus and member of YU’s Board of Trustees, and his wife Zahava, a graduate of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Center’s mission is to help develop Jewish thinkers and wisdom-seeking Jews by deepening their education in the best of the Jewish tradition, by exposing them to the richness of human knowledge and insight from across the ages, and by confronting them with the great moral, philosophical and theological questions of our age.

In the coming year, the Center will be teaching seminars on “Jewish Ideas and American Democracy” to undergraduates at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women, and to rabbinical students. The goal of these seminars is to bring classic Jewish texts about government into conversation with the foundational works of American political thought and to consider how traditional Jewish ideas impacted the development of democracy in the United States. The Straus Center will also host, throughout the year, “Great Conversations” featuring prominent figures in public life, which will address the relationship between faith and democracy in an extended discussion.

Rabbi Soloveichik, the director of the Straus Center, explained that “because Senator Lieberman has always been proud of the role that his faith and Torah observance plays in his own historic career, he is the perfect person to discuss the role of faith in public life before the students of Yeshiva University. We are honored that the Senator will join us for what we expect will be an unforgettable evening as we ponder how Jewish ideas have changed the world and how they can continue to do so in the future.”

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