|NEAT students hear from Dr. David Luchins|
|By Miriam Esther Weiner|
|Friday, 10 May 2013 18:03|
PROVIDENCE – Dr. David Luchins, chair of the political science department at Touro College in New York, spoke to New England Academy of Torah (the high school division of the Providence Hebrew Day School) students about the importance of hakkarat ha-tov, debt of gratitude, that the American Jewish community must have for the unprecedented influence and prestige that it enjoys.
Speaking to students on the afternoon of Thursday, April 18, Luchins, who served for 20 years on the staff of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), emphasized that this influence can be damaged by hillul Ha-Shem, desecration of God’s name, when Jews act inappropriately or display selfish attitudes that suggest we care only for ourselves.
A question-and-answer session, which touched on a wide range of issues relating to American Jewish political influence and the place of Israel in American politics, followed Luchin’s talk. Noting that Israel enjoys extraordinary bipartisan political support in Washington, D.C., he called it a huge disservice to both Israel and the United States to suggest that support for Israel somehow depends on the results of any particular American election.
NEAT’s students left the presentation more politically aware as well as more conscious of how their actions as Jews impact the lives of those around them.