TraceyKelley , Joel Mosbacher and Joe Chuman[/caption]On Saturday evening, June 8th, the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County presented its annual The Jack Rubenstein Ethical Humanist Award for social action to Joel Mosbacher, Rabbi of temple Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah. The award ceremony was part of the festivities at the Society’s dinner for the installation of its new Board of Trustees and Program Council. The award, the Award named for a former, esteemed president of the Society, is bestowed on a person outside of The Ethical Society who has worked tirelessly for the betterment of Society in a way that mirrors the ideals and commitments of The Ethical Society.
In this case, Rabbi Mosbacher was recognized for his efforts in the area of preventing gun violence. As a leader of the faith-based coalition New Jersey Together, he is working to have local mayors, gun retailers, firearms manufacturers and large buyers like the military sign a “covenant” of gun overhaul measures. This covenant calls for voluntary limits on selling certain types of weapons and large-capacity magazines, sale of guns only through federally licensed dealers and mandatory safety classes for buyers. At the Ethical Society’s request, Rabbi Mosbacher spoke eloquently about the formation of his own ethics and his commitment to social justice.
The timing of this award was no coincidence. The Ethical Society, responsible for a series of vigils in response to the murders in Newtown, CT, helped to found and has filled leadership positions in the Bergen County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. Rabbi Mosbacher was among the speakers at the Coalition’s Stand Up for Gun Sanity Rally. The group is planning to work closely with New Jersey Together going forward.