Lunch & Learn Series: Torah for Tomorrow
A Young Jew in the Civil Rights Movement: A Retrospective
Thu / Jan 21 / 12:00 pm
Rabbi Savenor and Peter Geffen
Peter Geffen will explore the influences of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel on his life as a Jew and his work as a Jewish educator. This reflection on the Civil Rights Movement gives us a window on the current state of the social conscience of America and what it can become.
In the summers of 1965 and 1966, Peter Geffen served as a civil rights worker for Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Orangeburg, SC, and has remained active in social justice causes his entire life. Professionally a Jewish educator, Geffen founded the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York City in 1983, which is now the largest pluralistic Jewish school in North America. His career in Jewish education began with his design of the unprecedented Park Avenue Synagogue High School program in 1967, where he served as Principal until 1985. In 2005, Geffen founded KIVUNIM, the yearlong post-high school/pre-college gap-year program based in Israel in which students learn about and travel to 12 countries (from Morocco to India) and study the origins and integration of Jewish life and culture throughout the world. Geffen holds a B.A. from Queens College and an M.A. in Religious Education from New York University.