Confronting Martin Luther's Antisemitism with Pastor Dan Hoeger of All Saints Lutheran Church - Conversation with the Rabbi

Episode 7

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Published on:

6th May 2021

Confronting Martin Luther's Antisemitism with Pastor Dan Hoeger of All Saints Lutheran Church

Rabbi Michael Beyo and Dr. Adrian McIntyre talk with Pastor Dan Hoeger about leading a diverse congregation, Lutheran theology, and how to deal with the problematic legacy of Martin Luther's antisemitism.

Dan Hoeger is the senior pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in north Phoenix. He has been a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1989. Prior to that he was a lay missionary teaching ESL in Japan for 3 years. Pastor Dan has served congregations in Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, California and for the last 4 years in Phoenix, Arizona. His wife, Yumiko, is a Family Medicine Doctor, and they have two grown children.

Additional Resources:

Conversation with the Rabbi is a project of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, neighborhood organization that has served individuals and families inclusive of all races, religions, and cultures since 1972. Visit us online at https://www.evjcc.org

The show is recorded and produced in the studio of PHX.fm, the leading independent B2B online radio station and podcast studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more at https://phx.fm

Transcript
Adrian McIntyre:

From PHX.fm, this is Conversation with the Rabbi, featuring open, honest dialogue and sometimes unconventional perspectives on the world we all share. Welcome to another Conversation with the Rabbi, I'm Adrian McIntyre. We're joined today by Dan Hoeger, senior pastor at the All Saints Lutheran Church, and our host for this conversation as always is Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center. Good morning Rabbi.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Good morning Adrian, how are you? Good to be here.

Adrian McIntyre:

I am well, thank you very much.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Good morning pastor Dan, how are you?

Dan Hoeger:

Great, great. It's exciting to be here, my first podcast.

Adrian McIntyre:

Yes, there's that moment when one crosses the threshold and you can never go back to work. We're glad that you're here with us. To start this conversation off, Dan, why don't you give us just a brief overview of your work, your organization, the people you serve. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Dan Hoeger:

Yeah, so I am a senior pastor here and what that means is that we have another pastor on staff and we have several other full-time people, as well as part-time folks. I have the regular responsibilities of a pastor, but then I got all the things that Michael has where you get emails and crises and having to do personnel evaluations.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

All the fun stuff. That's why we went to seminary.

Dan Hoeger:

Exactly, I could do ministry much longer if I didn't have email. I can tell you that right now. But the congregation, I've been at several congregations, this is my first one in Arizona and I'm doing it from my own perspective. This is a very warm church, it's a congregation that really leads from its heart. It's significant in our times that we're probably a pretty diverse congregation in terms of viewpoints and especially politically, which doesn't mean that all of our conversations go smoothly, but then we're able to unite, especially around things for service for others. I'm particularly proud that during this COVID time that we've raised now, it's close to 25, maybe $30,000 to help out with the Navajo folks and helping out with one of the schools up there and providing a kitchen and Chromebooks for everybody. So that's the kind of people they are and it's really fun to be part of a congregation that you enjoy. I mean, they're just nice people. I would join here if I wasn't a pastor here.

Adrian McIntyre:

Absolutely. I have a question, to situate this in a broader landscape, my grandfather was for many, many years, a pastor in the United Methodist Church, and in fact, built a church here in Arizona when my father was just a few years old and then moved to California, where later I was born. He then converted to Seventh-day Adventism and so I was raised in that community. But with the perspective of trying to map a little bit, the landscape of protestant movements and so on, could you situate the evangelical Lutheran Church in that bigger landscape of Christianity?

Dan Hoeger:

Yeah, yeah. I do this all the time because I would say 40% of the people that join our church, this is their first Lutheran Church to be part of. If you just look at Christianity in general, we have the major groupings, the churches that come out of the Western tradition, the Roman tradition, we have the Coptic Churches coming out of Africa, and then of course the Orthodox Churches that mostly moved East. And so most of the religious groups in America spin off the Western tradition. Historically, you can see it that the earlier a church who broke away from the chromic Catholic Church, the more bells and whistles of the Catholic Church they still carry with them. And so the Episcopal Church went the least distance because they broke away from the bishops down. There's so many things in the Episcopal Church that look like a Roman Catholic Church, other than of course, they have women priests and they can get married. The Lutheran Church is a little bit off from that, but not too far off. I would say the next over are the Presbyterians, then you pick up the Methodists and then you start moving towards what is the Southern Baptist, which were never really a movement with a higher structure, it was very much on a congregational level. And so most, what is called non-denominational churches, the pastors have been trained with Baptist theology, and so that's the spectrum. And then of course you have a lot of other things that fit in there, but that's the general tale of that. So in some ways, Lutherans are conservative in the sense that they haven't moved that far from a lot of traditional doctrine, but the Evangelical Lutheran Church is socially very liberal. We have women pastors for over 30 years now, we recently went through a lot of discussion and then we ordain our gay and lesbian pastors and transgender pastors, so we're the liberals among the conservatives.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

If I may ask, Pastor Dan, I am the Jew that doesn't understand anything of what you just said, because everybody knows that all Jews get along. So please explain to me, are the differences among the various denominations in Christianity theological? And if they are theological, do one person looks at another person and says, "Oh, you are an evil and you're going to burn in hell." Or is it not that?

Adrian McIntyre:

I think that level of animosity is reserved for potluck ...

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

To Jews [laughing].

Adrian McIntyre:

No, no, no. That's only about who brings what to the communal meal.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Are the differences more theological or just in practice?

Dan Hoeger:

It's a shifting thing, it's a very shifting thing. If you look back historically, at different forms of Christianity in America, you can pretty clearly see that a lot of it had to do with what group of immigrants brought it over. A hundred years ago, there was probably about 20 different groups of Lutherans in the country, because there was the Swedish Lutherans, the Norwegian Lutherans, the German Lutherans, the German Lutherans who were mad at the other German Lutherans, and so we had all that kind of division. And over the last hundred years, there's been this coming closer and closer together with those ethnic differences going down. There's still of course a terrible racial divide, where Christians have not been able to overcome their propensity to only want to gather or only to gather, I shouldn't say want to, only to gather with people of the same race, which is really sad given our theology. Then over time, what has happened is that most people, if they're looking for a church, they're looking for something that has things maybe within the center of the general field of theology, but they're just as concerned about daycare and do you have a good nursery and do they have a good Sunday school program? And do I like their choir? And so, most people who are shopping for a church tend to look a little bit at denomination or background. But they also tend to look a lot at how conservative or liberal politically a church is. So now politics has crept deeper into the divisions between different denominations. And so the churches that tend to get along with each other better, tend to have similar worldviews about politics and varying degrees of theology differences.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

You mentioned that politics has crept into religion, and we know we all know that we live in this great country where there is a concept of separation of church and state. And I always say that what makes this country great is that side by side, with the doctrine of separation of church and state do reasonable de facto separation of religion and state. Would you like to comment on that?

Dan Hoeger:

No, not at all. I'll comment in from a personal perspective. My father is a Lutheran pastor, well, he died. But my father was a Lutheran pastor. Both of my grandfathers were Lutheran pastors, a bunch of uncles, a bunch of cousins are Lutheran pastors. I was so much on the inside of this that it was very comfortable for me. And so a big part of, for me, was to say, "Well, is this something I truly believe about the reality?" In other words, that there is a reality here that is beyond my experience about God and how God has revealed God's self. And if I'm only talking to people that have my background, how am I going to know that? And so a big thing for me was I chose, after seminary, not to get ordained to be a pastor, but rather take some time to explore this. And so I went off to Japan to teach English for the Lutheran Church. Particularly because I wanted to meet Christians who were not Americans, I wanted to meet Christians who became Christians despite the fact that it would put them on the outs with their own culture. And so I'm a little bit more sensitive to how we all blur the lines between our cultural worldviews and our religious worldviews. And one of the things in seminary that they teach you very well, is they constantly remind you that if you were reading about Jesus and the disciples, that they weren't gentiles, they were Jews. And you need to listen within the context of what they were talking about and not just to throw in a modern context, otherwise you're going to dampen the impact of the scripture in your heart. So, I didn't really answer your question but ...

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

No, I think that you answered it like a Jew.

Dan Hoeger:

Good, good. I'll take that as a great compliment.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Right, that's what I'm saying.

Dan Hoeger:

I'll probably say, that is, I answered it like Jesus.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Yeah. That's what I'm saying, that's why it's a great compliment. It's interesting that you wanted to expose yourself outside of your community before you went to seminary-

Dan Hoeger:

No, just after seminary, before I became a pastor.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Yeah, that's what I meant, before you became a pastor and everything, by me, it happened on the other side, I mean, after I became a rabbi and worked as a rabbi and everything, my religious journey brought to me to open up my window and start discovering that there is a world out there both of Jewish and non-Jewish that I did not know before, I was raised and I grew up for most of the first half of my life or three quarters of my life in a very sheltered and secluded world, I would say, ultra-Orthodox, that was my world. And if I look back in time and I look at to my theological positions today or political position that I have today and I look back in time. And if somebody would've told me 10 years ago, I would've said, "No way, tell me what you're smoking in the morning because you are hallucinating." And it's fascinating how people change and we change, and change can be very good and very fulfilling.

Dan Hoeger:

Yeah. It would've mean it's to follow God, it's the assumption that you will go places that you did not plan on going. Because if you only go places that you wanted to go to, how can you say you're following God?

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Can we really follow God? No, I'm serious. I'm asking from him from a theologian to another. Can we follow God? Or is that path achievable?

Dan Hoeger:

Oh yeah. Well, I mean, as a Lutheran, I totally believe in God's grace. And so part of me following God is coming to a realization of consciousness constantly in my failures in doing God's will, and that that's okay, that that's what it means to follow God. It's to first and foremost be open with God about your failures. And if that's the only way that I follow God in my life, that's really good enough. I would hope for more, I would hope that I could somehow be more loving, more righteous, more generous. But if I just realize that the way I'm instincts to do things isn't God's way, and that sometimes I have to ask God to take me back again, that's enough. That's following God for me.

Adrian McIntyre:

This is a gross oversimplification of a complex moment in history, but certainly the Protestant Reformation was in some very large part, an attempt to reinstate the place of God and one's direct relationship with God above the bureaucracy of the church. And that's, it seems to me, put leaders in churches like yours in an interesting position, because you are senior pastor and so there's an authority that goes with that position and with the responsibilities you have with regards to the congregation and to the operations of the church. But at the same time, you're telling people that their direct relationship with God is the thing, not their relationship with you. How does that, to circle back to Rabbi's question a few minutes ago, how does that situate you in a world where this worldly concerns, whether they are politics or otherwise, puts you in a really interesting position. You're not in between your members and their faith, you're adjacent to it and yet you lead them. Can you talk about that?

Dan Hoeger:

Yeah. There is almost, and it's somewhat fading I have to say, as organized religion is having less of an impact on people's concept of a relationship with God. And I'm not saying that in a pejorative sense or anything like that, it's just a fact that the role of pastors is shifting. I would say for the people that tend to join a church, there is a desire to place me on a spiritually higher rung on a ladder. And it gets reinforced by the fact that I get to talk for 20 minutes once a week and they don't. I get to talk to everybody and so I have to be very careful not to set myself up as over and above anybody else or that I have better insight than everybody else. And so I have to do it with grounding it in scripture, but also grounding in my own narrowness and my own faultiness. But still you get that and sometimes people will over-trust you simply because you're a pastor, and the thing that comes around and bite you is that they also feel over betrayed if you say something that they disagree with. And so that is a two inch sword to do that. On the flip side, increasingly I'm doing funerals where the children of people that were going to church, really have no relationship with the church and they treat me like a used car salesman. And they come and ask me to do a funeral, and they're just so full of every bad TV show you've ever seen about pastors slaughtering, caring for people, and they come in with so many... they're just full of fear and restriction that they see me as an enemy. So I've had to notch my pride down a little bit to say, because part of me wants to say, "Hey, I've been doing this for 30 years, I'm not completely incompetent." But I have to deal with the fact that being a pastor sometimes generates too much expectation, and sometimes that expectation is that I'm better than everybody else and sometimes it's that I'm more dangerous than everybody else. And so it's a wonderful world we live in.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Very, very interesting. You're talking about a relationship with God. I don't know what that means.

Dan Hoeger:

You're right, and this is where it's really exciting having these conversations because sometimes words that I use are so commonly held within my community.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

No, no, also a lot of rabbis ... a lot of Jews, a lot of rabbis speak about having a relationship with God. What I can tell you is that I have been speaking to God for many, many years, multiple times a day, I have yet to hear a reply. So I do not know if that is a relationship because if I were to use that analogy with my wife, that would not be a relationship if only one of us speaks and the other never answers. We might have a better marriage, but it wouldn't be a relationship.

Dan Hoeger:

I don't know what the kind of marital counseling you do, but that's a pretty typical relationship.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

But what I'm saying is, from my theology, from my perspective and I understand that it's very different than many other people, including many of my brothers and sister in the Jewish religion. I can only have a relationship with someone or something with which I share a common denominator. And since, in my theology, God is so transcendent, therefore, there is nothing in God that I share, and there is nothing in me that is shareable with God because He's so sacred, meaning he's so separate from me. God is sacred, I am not right. God is holy, I am not, because he's so different than me. And therefore, by definition, ontologically I cannot have a relationship with God, I can only worship God, I can work for God. So I love and I always try to understand what people mean when they say that they have a relationship with God. What does that mean?

Dan Hoeger:

By the way, you sound more Lutheran than I do. Martin Luther, we talked a little bit and Adrian had a very good take to say that by and large, the process reformation was this thing for having a personal relationship with God. But Luther also had a hard time with people that that was the sole thing, that one of which the transcendence of God disappeared. And for Christians, theologically, it's the idea that God's spirits, which we often refer to as the Holy spirit, is given to us, in other words that God comes to us and that's a gift of grace. But the symbolism of that was a bird coming down, a symbol of peace and love. And so Luther once said that he was tired of people that felt like they swallowed the Holy spirit feathers and all. Because then it becomes a beautiful excuse for God told me to X, and therefore there's no need to look to how God has chosen to reveal God's self and God's being above us. Another thing that Luther said, which I probably have never used in a sermon, which once again, makes you more Lutheran than me, is that this closeness that we can have with God is a mask that God wears. And he didn't say that in a scary way, what he was saying was that for us to really be in direct relationship with God, would be crushing. It's not unusual that everywhere in scripture, Old Testament and New, I think everywhere, where an angel appears, almost the first words are, "Do not be afraid," and that's not even God, that's just an angel. And so that there's this mask that God chooses to put on so that we, who are God's creatures, are not crushed in a relationship with God.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

It's very nice. It definitely connects with, that's the reason according to our rabbis, that Moses, when he first encounters God through the burning bush is afraid, he steps back because of that mask at the crushing moment. But let me ask you again ...

Dan Hoeger:

But I can say that personally, me, I often talk to God like he's my Uncle Jake.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

And Uncle Jake answers?

Dan Hoeger:

Yeah he does, he does, he does.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

He does. You're talking about Luther, and Martin Luther did not have the greatest opinion of Jews.

Dan Hoeger:

No, he didn't.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

He didn't, so ...

Dan Hoeger:

This is you being polite and giving me a segue. I appreciate that.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

So please explain to me how at the same time, you as a pastor that is not antisemitic, I would say maybe you are philo-Semitic, at the same time you learn and you appreciate and you accept many teachings from the founder of your denomination knowing that at the same time, he held a deep conviction about other human beings, about Jews that you strongly disagree with. And they're antithetical to your worldview, to your theology, et cetera. Please explain to me how does that work?

Dan Hoeger:

In 30 seconds, right? Let me start off with the most important thing, which is I'm very proud that our branch of Lutheranism and not one, not just us, but our branch of Lutheranism back in the early '90s, realized that some quotes from Luther were used by rabid antisemites. In fact, they were used by the Hitler in Nazi Germany. And so there was a document put out and the people who put it out really spent time talking with the Jewish community to try to understand, and we denounced it as sinful and wrong. You said that I'm philo-Semitic or antisemitic, I would say systematically I'm probably still antisemitic. And by that I'm saying is that I've had not enough interaction to realize that something that I don't see as antisemitic can still be painful.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

That's deeper than what you think.

Dan Hoeger:

Yeah, yeah. But I mean, that's true of all of us, and especially, it just gets amplified when there's power, and in the United States, Christians have more power than Jews.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

If I may open just a parentheses, I grew up in Italy as many of you know, and in Italy, when I was growing up, there were almost no African people. Everybody looked the same, there were very few people that were from Africa. Then at a certain point when I was a teenager, we started receiving immigrants from Africa, first Central Africa then North Africa. When I came to this country, I was completely ignorant about, besides watching some movies about the African-American history and their suffering and their tribulations. And so your sentence of hit a very strong chord in me, because I don't know how much, because of my lack of experience and interaction with, for example, African-Americans, maybe there are things in my mind or in the way that I express myself, that may be hurtful that I don't mean to, but because I just don't know and nobody taught me. Nobody said to me, "Hey, don't use that term because that's hurtful. Okay. I'm sorry. I did not know." So yes, not knowing ...

Dan Hoeger:

This might be insensitive, but I have to tell you that it's something that I just thought was so bizarre. When I was living in Japan, this was back in the late '80s, some of the antisemitic material about Jews taking over Europe and banks and stuff like that, have been translated into Japanese. It was being passed around as a potential good strategy for world domination and admiration for the Jewish people for being a smaller group and taking over Europe. So it's like, "Hey, maybe we should try this."

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

"Hey, let's use that technique. It worked for them."

Dan Hoeger:

We had to explain to them it was a lie, that's not really what happened, but they were admiring the Jewish people for taking over all the banks.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

Yeah. But it's interesting how often not knowing ... we need to be aware that our own ignorance of others, and we have to be aware of that and deal with that.

Dan Hoeger:

Let me get back and deal a little bit with Luther though. One of the things for Luther, and that was very strong, is that no one should ever think that they are free from sin, and that our relationship with God always begins with that understanding. And so for me as a Lutheran to follow the teachings of Luther, if I see a sin like his that perhaps he didn't have the context to understand himself, it's my job to own up to his sin, because he taught me that I should do that. And so it's a very Lutheran thing for me to say that Luther was sinful about Jews. An interesting thing happened and this shows you about the antisemitism and how it worked in that time, is Luther himself was an Old Testament professor. He has doctorate in Old Testament theology. And he at a certain point, and this has been portrayed to me, I'm not by any means a Luther scholar, so I trust people that are no more than me. But he, at some point, was under the impression that the Jews rejected Christianity because Christianity had messed things so much, it did not talk about God's grace, that he was very hopeful that once he explained things from his perspective, all the Jews would become Christians. And when they didn't, his bitterness came out. And so there was a naive assumption that the only reason a Jew wasn't a Christian was because the Christians had done a bad job and that came up now. The other side is the guy, he was ticked off at everybody and he could be really crude. And so it's not hard to find a negative thing about him speaking about Presbyterians or... it's just that there isn't a group out there that hates Presbyterians that is quoting Luther and using Luther as a way to beat up Presbyterians. In fact, I work with a Presbyterian pastor now, so there's lots of ways that I'm different from Martin Luther.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

I understand.

Adrian McIntyre:

One last thing I know you wanted to touch on in this conversation is jumping forward from Luther's time to the mid 20th century in the same place in Germany. And the complicity of the Lutheran Church in Germany in the Holocaust. Can you speak a little bit about that. Obviously this is a huge topic, but what I'm most interested in is less your recounting of those details, because you're not here as a historian and scholar, but in some of the personal dimension of that, how you have dealt with that legacy of hate and atrocity and navigated to the very open engagement with the world you have today. Could you speak to that because this is something, first of all, I think many people aren't aware of. And second of all, that's a very, very difficult burden to bear. Can you speak to that?

Dan Hoeger:

I was born in 1960, my parents were of the generation of World War II and watched all the World War II movies and all these things, and it was always there and I was largely blind to what the Lutheran Church was like in Germany during Adolf Hitler's reign. And there is several people, but the most notable is a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who stood up, he was a Lutheran theologian, he stood up against Nazism, he stood up against the church of his time, he was eventually involved in a plot to kill Hitler and he was executed before the war ended because of that. And so he was the poster boy for Lutheranism during Nazi times. When I was, this must've been in the late '90s, maybe early 2000s, I'm trying to remember if he's Presbyterian or Methodist, his name is Steve Martin, and no, he's not that Steve Martin, but he's a documentary filmmaker. And he did a film that you can still get on Amazon, it's very good and you can rent it for, I looked it up, it was like $9.95, you could watch it. And it's a documentary about what happened with the Lutheran Church for the majority of the Lutheran Church at the time of Adolf Hitler. And the short answer is they bought it hook, line, and sinker. Theology went out the window. They practically threw out the Old Testament. In fact, it's so crazy for me because Lutherans have been accused of being more faithful to the teachings of Paul than to the gospels. But they also felt that Paul was too Jewish. And they had terrible things where they would ... because it had always been a thing that if somebody wanted to convert to Christianity, it didn't matter their background. But they would still be antisemitic towards Christians who were Jewish by heritage. And it was terrible, it was terrible. And when I was watching this, what really struck me is one of the theologians they talked about, his last name is Kittel. And Kittel is to a student of the New Testament what Webster is to the study of English. Webster wrote this definitive dictionary that we all grew up looking at when we were in school. Well, when I went to school, in order to study the New Testament ... the oldest copies we have were written in Greek. And so there is a 15-20 volume set of words in Greek and how they were used and how they were used in the Bible, how they were used outside of the Bible, so you can get the full context of it for translating. And so I as a studious person, used to go back to Kittel in order to get all my papers done and I'd be going through all these books. I discovered Kittel was a Nazi, and it just shook me to the core that I had used a document like that, totally blind to the fact that the person who generated that held antisemitic and virulent views and used the church as a platform to propagate them. And so with that, I thought, "How could a person who had that intellectual capacity to give me something that would be useful to understand God's word ... How could that person have been so wrong?" And I've taught this in every church I've been at so far, because it isn't just about what happened then and there, but what happens now. And one of the things that it reminds me is that one of the things that he makes, Steve Martin makes as a hypothesis here is that part of what set up Germany was the extreme separation between the right and the left. And dang if that's not feeling more and more familiar. That scares me. It scares me how quickly religion can be the servant of an evil agenda. Even my religion. And that's something I try to hold on to. Happy thoughts, sorry about that.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

No, no, I think it's a very remarkable that you can both look back at your own tradition and at your teachers, and look at them with a critical eye and be able to extract from their teachings what is useful and good and helpful in your trajectory in your life and cast aside the negative messages and the antisemitism that they thought. Any thoughts for closing your time with us today?

Dan Hoeger:

No, but thank you for doing this. People need to be in conversation right now, and that's what a good podcast is, it's a conversation. Boy, none of us have got it right, but we can learn from each other and maybe be a little bit tempered in our own self-righteousness and I think that's the important thing right now.

Rabbi Michael Beyo:

For sure. I enjoyed very much our session today, and I've learned from you a number of things so much so that you said that you're maybe still a little bit of an antisemite because you did not have enough interaction with Jews. So let me officially, formally invite you to maybe another session that we can do sometimes during the year, where we can discuss some more of our theological differences and commonalities, because I do believe that ultimately the goal that we all have is to create strong communities, to create good communities, to create communities that help others, and there are multiple ways to God. And so if you do your job and I do my job, then maybe this world will be better, maybe.

Dan Hoeger:

Amen.

Adrian McIntyre:

Dan Hoeger is senior pastor with the All Saints Lutheran Church in Phoenix. Thanks so much for joining us for the show today. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe to Conversation with the Rabbi on your favorite podcast app. You can also find the latest episodes online at ConversationWithTheRabbi.com. For all of us here at PHX.fm, I'm Adrian McIntyre. Thanks for listening and please join us for the next Conversation with the Rabbi.

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About the Podcast

Conversation with the Rabbi
Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, talks with an eclectic mix of faith-based and secular leaders from around the world.
In an era of political division and polarized debate, we are losing our ability to hear each other. The volume of our disagreements is at an all-time high, while our ability to communicate with kindness and empathy is at an all-time low. This podcast seeks to change that by engaging people from different backgrounds and beliefs in good old-fashioned conversation.

Listen in as Rabbi Michael Beyo and anthropologist Dr. Adrian McIntyre spend time listening, sharing, and discovering common ground in an effort to understand and appreciate the wondrous diversity of our human family. From interfaith dialogues to discussions with business and nonprofit leaders, this podcast shines a spotlight on the different ways we can learn to live, work, and worship together in a contentious and conflicted world.

We invite you to use these conversations as a lens to open up new understandings of self and the other, to develop empathy for diverse viewpoints, and to explore what is possible when we listen to others with respect.

Conversation with the Rabbi is a project of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, neighborhood organization that has served individuals and families inclusive of all races, religions, and cultures since 1972. Visit us online at https://www.evjcc.org

The show is recorded and produced in the studio of PHX.fm, the leading independent B2B online radio station and podcast studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more at https://phx.fm

About your hosts

Rabbi Michael Beyo

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Rabbi Michael Beyo is CEO of the East Valley Jewish Community Center in Chandler, Arizona. He was born in Milan, Italy and has lived in Italy, England, France, Israel, and the United States. An Orthodox Jewish scholar with a successful career providing religious guidance to all the Jewish denominations, he was ordained as a rabbi in Israel, where he earned three Rabbinical Ordinations of the highest honor. In 2015 Rabbi Beyo moved to Arizona from Atlanta, where he had served as the Chief Development Officer for Hillel of Georgia, overseeing 12 colleges and universities. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director and Rabbi of Boston University Hillel, as well as the Jewish Chaplain for Boston University. Rabbi Beyo brings over 25 years of professional, entrepreneurial and non-profit experience in education, cultural, humanitarian, social and religious sectors. He successfully ran several start-ups in Israel before dedicating his career to the nonprofit world.

Adrian McIntyre, PhD

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Dr. Adrian McIntyre is a social scientist, storytelling strategist, and internationally recognized authority on effective communication. His on-air experience began in 1978 at the age of five as a co-host of "The Happy Day Express," the longest-running children's radio program in California history. Adrian earned his PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Fulbright scholar and National Science Foundation research fellow. He spent nearly a decade in the Middle East and Africa as a researcher, journalist, and media spokesperson for two of the largest humanitarian relief agencies in the world. Today he advises and trains entrepreneurs, executives, and corporate teams on high-performance communication, the power of storytelling, and how to leverage digital media to build a personal leadership brand.