Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB) to be honored by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) at 2017 Tidewater Humanitarian Awards Dinner

by | Mar 6, 2017 | What’s Happening

Thursday, March 30
The Westin, Virginia Beach Town Center

Since 1963, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) has annually honored individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to heal divisions within their community and to advance a greater understanding of the richness found in the community’s diversity.

This year, VCIC will present the Distinguished Merit Citation Award for an organization to Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB) founded by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz of Congregation Beth El and Dr. Antipas Harris, professor in the School of Divinity at Regent University and Theologian-in-Residence at First Presbyterian Church in Norfolk.

HUBB was created two years ago as a constructive response to racial violence in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities around the country. Comprised of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clergy, HUBB’s goal is to forge relationships across racial and religious lines and to build bridges of mutual understanding in Hampton Roads.

Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg of Ohef Sholom Temple and a member of HUBB’s 70 faith leaders, says that each month the interfaith clergy meet to study sacred texts and discuss community issues. By comparing the languages of spirit found in the Torah, the Bible, or Koran, they strive to elevate the common messages found in all—the need to extend kindness, mercy and justice to all, not only in contemplation and prayer, but also in their active ministry to those in need, every day.

“Interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding never mean diluting our own cherished traditions and morals—or trying to change the customs and principles of our friends. Peaceful coexistence requires that we listen with an open mind and heart to that which is central to the soul of our fellow human beings,” says Mandelberg.

Jay Klebanoff, president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, and Alvin Wall, president of Tidewater Jewish Foundation, released the following statement: “Congratulations to Rabbi Arnowitz and his fellow founders of the Hands United Building Bridges on their recognition by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. It is inspiring in these turbulent times for religious leaders to demonstrate the common bonds shared by people across many faiths.”

The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Tidewater Jewish Foundation encourage the community to join them in honoring Rabbi Arnowitz and this year’s other award winners.

For more information and to purchase a seat at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Tidewater Jewish Foundation table, contact: Tammy Mujica at tmujica@ujft.org or call 757-965-6124.

Sherri Wisoff