Rabbi Irwin Kula to deliver Elon's 2017 Baccalaureate address
Kula has been recognized for shaping the American spiritual landscape and is regarded as one of America’s “most influential rabbis.”
Rabbi Irwin Kula, an internationally renowned speaker and scholar on spirituality and the president of Clal — the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, will deliver Elon University’s Baccalaureate remarks on Friday, May 19, 2017.
Baccalaureate takes place in Alumni Gym at 3 p.m. The program is open to the public, with all graduates and their families invited to attend.
Kula has gained wide acclaim for his ability to use Jewish wisdom to speak to all aspects of modern life and relationships. He received the Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award in 2008 for his work “toward equality, liberty and truly inter-religious community” and has been named by Fast Company magazine and the PBS program “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” as a leader who is shaping the American spiritual landscape. Newsweek has listed him for multiple years as one of the country’s “most influential rabbis.”
An eighth-generation rabbi, Kula is a graduate of Columbia University and received graduate degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. He has written influential texts on religion and spirituality including “Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life,” which in 2006 won the “Books for a Better Life” award and was named one of the best spiritual books of that year by Spirituality & Health magazine.
With his global focus, he has led a Passover Seder in Bhutan, consulted with government officials in Rwanda, helped build bridges between cultures and faiths in Qatar and has met with a wide range of leaders including the Dalai Lama and Queen Noor of Jordan to talk about compassionate leadership in the 21 century.
The 2017 Commencement ceremonies will take place in front of the Alamance Building on Scott Plaza and Young Commons at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 20. Univision Network’s Maity Interiano ’07 will deliver the Commencement address.