In Every Tongue–Speaking about Gary Tobin

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The Center for Afro-Jewish Studies and the Jewish Studies Program held its 3rd Annual Symposium on Race and Judaism on November 19, 2009. The day’s program was devoted to themes in memory of the late Dr. Gary Tobin who died on July 6, 2009. Gary Tobin was the President of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, and, along with his wife Dianne, the founder of Be’chol Lashon/In Every Tongue, “a think-tank devoted to the study of Jewish diversity and bringing diverse communities of Jewish people together across the globe.”  (View this short film about Be’chol Lashon.)  Gary Tobin was a social scientist, teacher, and community organizer with interests in Jewish demography, philanthropy, antisemitism, and anti-Israelism.

On the morning of the symposium, librarian Fred Rowland sat down with four of the participants to discuss Gary Tobin, the organizations that he created, the issues to which he devoted his life, and the day’s events. They were Lewis Gordon, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies; Laura Levitt, professor of religion and women’s studies; Rabbi Capers Funnye of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, and Walter Isaac, graduate fellow for the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies.

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