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Rabbi Soetendorp Highlights Earth Charter at German Church Congress

At the biennial German Protestant Kirchentag (“Church Congress”), held last week in Cologne, Earth Charter Commissioner Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp introduced thousands of people to the Earth Charter’s vision of a sustainable future.

 

Photo: Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp at the German Protestant Kirchentag, June 2007

 

Rabbi Soetendorp spoke against the majestic backdrop of the Cologne Cathedral – a powerful visual statement on the growing ecumenical focus of the Protestant gathering.

 

The open-air event was organized around “the power of dignity,” and the rabbi took the floor immediately following Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Reverend Desmond Tutu.

 

Rabbi Soetendorp opened his moving speech by quoting the Earth Charter’s call to create a global partnership to care for Earth and one another. He then read parts of a statement on peace in the Middle East that he drafted with Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.

 

Several times, the Rabbi was interrupted by the enthusiasic responses of the crowd. Soetendorp, who survived the Holocaust as a hidden child in Amsterdam, concluded by sharing his life story. Touched by this moving testimony, given in German, the audience of six thousand thanked him with standing ovations and spontaneously began singing the Hebrew song of peace and reconciliation, “Shalom Aleichim.”

 

“It moved people to tears,” noted Michael Slaby, ECI Inter-faith Coordinator.

 

We are indeed grateful to Rabbi Soetendorp for his steadfast efforts to bring the Earth Charter to a growing and very diverse religious audience. For more information on ECI’s newly-emerging Program on Religion and Sustainability, please visit the special site devoted to this topic, /religion .

 

Photo: Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp at the German Protestant Kirchentag, June 2007

 

Rabbi Soetendorp spoke against the majestic backdrop of the Cologne Cathedral – a powerful visual statement on the growing ecumenical focus of the Protestant gathering.

 

The open-air event was organized around “the power of dignity,” and the rabbi took the floor immediately following Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Reverend Desmond Tutu.

 

Rabbi Soetendorp opened his moving speech by quoting the Earth Charter’s call to create a global partnership to care for Earth and one another. He then read parts of a statement on peace in the Middle East that he drafted with Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.

 

Several times, the Rabbi was interrupted by the enthusiasic responses of the crowd. Soetendorp, who survived the Holocaust as a hidden child in Amsterdam, concluded by sharing his life story. Touched by this moving testimony, given in German, the audience of six thousand thanked him with standing ovations and spontaneously began singing the Hebrew song of peace and reconciliation, “Shalom Aleichim.”

 

“It moved people to tears,” noted Michael Slaby, ECI Inter-faith Coordinator.

 

We are indeed grateful to Rabbi Soetendorp for his steadfast efforts to bring the Earth Charter to a growing and very diverse religious audience. For more information on ECI’s newly-emerging Program on Religion and Sustainability, please visit the special site devoted to this topic, /religion .

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