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William Burnett's Blog
Rabbi Dr Bradley Shavit Artson argues that the moral requirment to honor human dignity requires that society look beyond a rigid adherence to the efficient law of supply and demand to meet the needs of people in society; especially those of society's vulnerable.
Read his essay in the Huffington Post.
For Christians, the penitential season of Lent in preparation for Easter begins today. The Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing welcomes the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI, spiritual leader of billions of Roman Catholics throughout the world, has established Justice as the theme for his Lenten reflection this year -- and in doing so invites all people of faith to reflect this Lent on the theme of justice. This reflection on justice follows the previous few years of Benedict XVI's papacy when he had chosen to emphasize themes of charity.
This movement from charity to justice is central to the Mission of the Assembly. We have always viewed both as essential to our mission to promote the dignity of the poor and those coping with homelessness. Core parts of our mission are to address the immediate needs of homeless New Yorkers, while, at the same time, working to change economic and social policy to ensure people have access to food, housing and sustainable incomes.
Benedict XVI asks the Church to recognize that injustice does not originate from systems external to human persons, but from the motives of people who have given themselves over to an "illusion of self-sufficiency." He argues that "[the human person] is weakened by an intense influence, which wounds their capacity to enter into communion with the other." He further states that "by nature, [people are] open to sharing freely, but find in [their] being a strange force of gravity that makes [them] turn inward and affirm self above and against others."
As you all know, on Tuesday night, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti 15km from the capital. Reaching a magnitude of 7.0, it was the worst earthquake Haiti has experienced in 200 years. The extent of the devastation is still unclear, but as many as 50,000 people have died and millions more are affected.
Now and in the months ahead, Sing for Hope will do all we can to respond to this crisis. We will mobilize our Donor Artists in performances at fundraising events for charitable organizations that provide key support on the ground in Haiti. Furthermore, we will continue, as per our mission, to bring the transformative power of art to underserved schools, hospitals, and communities in our own country -- many of which will be affected by the Haitian crisis because of familial ties and diverted charitable giving.
If you are available this Saturday evening, we encourage you to attend a recital benefiting Haitian disaster relief by Sing for Hope Donor Artist Jesse Blumberg (acclaimed baritone and founder of Five Boroughs Music Festival) and the wonderful pianists Kamel Boutros and Greg Brewer:
An Evening of Music by Handel, Mozart, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Cole Porter benefiting Haiti Disaster Relief Effort
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Kamel Boutros, pianist
Greg Brewer, special guest pianist
January 16th, 8:00 PM
Calvary Church 21st and Park Avenue,
New York, New York
Suggested Donation: $20
Thank you for your support of the Sing for Hope mission of uplifting communities in need through arts outreach. We send all best wishes to you and yours.
THE SING FOR HOPE TEAM