Saturday, May 8, 2010

Death penalty debate

Two rabbis will square off on a tough topic

Rabbi Herbert Brockman of Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden will argue against the death penalty in a debate to be held at 2 p.m. May 23 at Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford.

The debate on whether the death penalty should be abolished will take place from a Jewish point of view, organizers said in a statement.
Rabbi Stephen Fuchs, senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, will argue for the death penalty, the statement said.

For more information, e-mail or call 860-233-8215 x235.

The program is free and open to the public and retired Connecticut Supreme Court Justice David M. Borden will moderate the panel, the statement said.

Fuchs graduated from Hamilton College and was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, the statement said. He earned a Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters, a graduate certificate in Jewish Communal Service, and in 1992 received a Doctor of Ministry degree in Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Nashville, Tenn. He has written and lectured extensively on subjects pertaining to Jewish life. He currently serves on the National Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, and was one of the key religious leaders in the successful effort to pass the SustiNet Bill for Universal Health Care in Connecticut, the statement said.

Brockman, shown, is a seventh-generation rabbi, having been raised in a richly Orthodox home before choosing the liberal tradition of Reform Judaism, the statement said. After graduating from Ohio University, he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees and Ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and the Ph.D. from the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary’s Seminary and the University of Baltimore, the statement said. Brockman teaches and engages in a wide variety of community projects, serves on the boards of Interfaith Cooperative Ministries in New Haven and Hartford Seminary, and teaches at Yale Divinity School, the statement said. Brockman recently received the Community Leadership Award at the Reverend Howard Nash Breakfast.

Borden, formerly a judge of the Court of Common Pleas and the Superior Court, became one of the original six members of the Connecticut Appellate Court in 1983, and was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1990 where he served until his retirement in 2007. He teaches a class in statutory construction at the University of Connecticut School of Law, the statement said. He is the co-author of three books and has been the recipient of countless honors and distinctions over the course of his professional career, the statement said.

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