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BU professor to speak on the New Jewish Universalism in Rockland

Vernon Doucette | Boston University Photography
Vernon Doucette | Boston University Photography
Hillel Levine
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A Boston University professor of sociology and religion will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow St., on the challenges of globalization for Jews.

Hillel Levine will discuss “The New Jewish Universalism: Jews, Judaism, and the Dilemmas of Globalization,” a press release said.

“For a Jew to be a universalist once meant to reject one’s special ties with the Jewish people, with the Jewish past, with the centrality of Torah and with Israel as a Jewish homeland; in brief, to assimilate, easy enough to do in the modern world without conversion to another religion,” Levine said in the release. “Why is it that in recent years an increasing number of Jews are finding inspiration in the particularism of their faith and Jewish attachments to contribute mightily to the most universal causes such as protecting all people from violence or supporting environmental issues?”

Levine, who is also president of the International Center for Conciliation, an institute that deals with religious and ethnic conflict in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East, is a graduate of the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he worked closely with professor Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the leading Jewish theologians of modern times.

He holds a doctorate in both sociology and Jewish history from Harvard University. He has been a visiting professor and/or a research fellow in Japan, China, Ethiopia, South Korea, Poland, the Soviet Union, Brazil, Morocco and Israel. He also has worked with the U.S. State Department in preventing ethnic conflicts in Western Europe, the Balkans, India and the Northeastern Territories under Indian control.

Levine is the author of “The Economic Origins of Antisemitism,” “In Search of Sugihara” and “The Death of an American Jewish Community,” as well as a diverse group of studies, including “Jewish Reactions to Copernicus” and “Monotheism and the Sources of American Foreign Policy.”

Adas Yoshuron is an unaffiliated, all-inclusive synagogue serving the Jewish community of midcoast Maine since 1912.

For information, call 594-4523, or email

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