Rabbi Lee Bycel

Public Events
Thursday, September 5, 2019 7:00 pm


We welcome Coastside Jewish Community Visiting Scholar and High Holiday Rabbi Lee Bycel discussing his new book: Refugees in America: Stories of Courage, Resilience and Hope in Their Own Words.

The author will talk about his personal experiences in Darfuri refugee camps that eventually led him to write this book which uplifts the stories of refugees who have come to America. The stories of eleven people ranging in age from mid twenties to mid nineties from different countries who came here at various times are highlighted in this book. Bycel will share some of the stories, the commonalities that emerge about the refugee experience, and his thoughts about the refugee narrative which impact us all.

About the Speaker

LEE T. BYCEL is a social justice advocate deeply committed to humanitarian issues. He has made several trips to East Africa including four humanitarian trips to Darfur and Chad where he visited several refugee camps; as well as trips to South Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Haiti where he raised significant funding for humanitarian relief. He is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post.

Lee has an extensive background in leadership positions. He has served as Executive Director of the Redford Center whose mission was to collaborate with diverse leaders and artists in cultivating creative, action-based solutions to some of today’s most compelling civic, environmental and social challenges.

Throughout his career, many of the programs he has developed have focused on leadership and civic discourse. Lee is deeply committed to reclaiming in today’s society the art of conversation, respectful civil discourse and the ability to listen and respect people who hold different views.

For fifteen years he was Dean of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where he was the Senior Academic and Administrative Officer of the campus and director of the rabbinic school. He has also served as the Smither Visiting Professor of World Religions at the Claremont School of Theology. For three years, he served as President of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. Born in Los Angeles, Lee graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Philosophy. He earned his doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology.

Appointed by President Obama, he served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council and the Committee on Conscience from 2014-2019. In the fall of 2005, he participated in the inaugural meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. Lee is involved in a variety of humanitarian, social justice, and educational organizations and activities. He served as President of the County of Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations. In June of 2019 Governor Newsom appointed him to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. He has a number of publications to his credit as well as being the recipient of many awards including the National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ) Humanitarian Award. In 2016, he received the Sr. Vicki Siu Award from the University of San Francisco for outstanding contributions and service to the USF community.

Admission is free

We appreciate your generous donation that supports the Scholarship Fund and other community programs of the Half Moon Bay Odd Fellows. This is one of an ongoing monthly series of speakers covering topics from science, history, politics, citizenship, and more. Subscribe to our email list to get up to date information or check back here often.

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