POSTPONED: Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, RC ’77, architect Esther Sperber (AIA) to discuss balancing safety and security in sacred spaces

March 2, 2020

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, RC ’77, Tree of Life synagogue (Pittsburgh, PA) and Esther Sperber (AIA), founder, Studio ST Architects, will present the 2020 Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture, “Building Safe Sacred Spaces: Personal and Architectural Perspectives” on Wednesday, April 1 beginning at 4:00 p.m. It will be held at Rutgers Hillel, 70 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ on the campus of Rutgers University.

Please be advised that this event has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. Watch our website for announcements.

Synagogues, churches, and other places of spiritual worship have traditionally been welcoming, open spaces. At their best, these communal institutions offered shelter, food, and emotional support to both members and those passing through.

The recent violent attacks in synagogues and churches, while statistically rare, have nevertheless challenged us to grapple with the conflicting values of openness and security. How can we create a welcoming space that is safe? How do we insure that we do not fall in the trap of fearing the other?

Rutgers alumnus Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, RC ’77 will reflect on his mission to make his community and the world “stronger than hate” by stopping the spread of “h-speech” in order to restore civil discourse in society. Esther Sperber (AIA) will present a number of synagogue projects built by her firm Studio ST Architects over the last decade and discuss the ways in which they have incorporated excellent design with spiritual, sustainable, and secure components.

The Ruth Ellen Steinman Bloustein and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture was established to honor the memory of these two extraordinary individuals. For nearly nineteen years, the Blousteins dedicated their enormous energies to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The lecture series focuses on three main themes: the study and preservation of animal species and the natural environment, the celebration of love, happiness, and laughter as tools of clinical medicine, and the exploration and promotion of humane values, which Ed Bloustein believed were woven in the fabric of Judaic tradition and passed down from generation to generation. Events of the third theme are co-sponsored by the Bloustein School and the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University.

All visitors to campus attending this event, including members of the media, must register their vehicles by visiting  prior to parking on campus. Non-registered vehicles may be ticketed.  Special event parking and special event permits are only for visitors to the University, which does not include free metered parking. Faculty, Staff, and Students must park only in lots they are authorized to park in.

Parking Lots 11, 26, 30 & College Avenue Deck have been designated for guests for this event. An interactive campus map may be found at Click on the “P” on the left side to show all parking lots.

RELATED LINKS: NPR – “Houses of Worship Struggle to Balance Security and Belief in Wake of Violence” (From Weekend Edition Sunday, 2/9/2020) – Listen/Read Now

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