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Rabbi Franklin

​Rabbi to Lecture in Theological Exchange Series

Providence, R.I.--Rabbi Wayne M. Franklin, senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Providence, will inaugurate the 2011-2012 Theological Exchange Between Catholics and Jews series at Providence College with a lecture on decision-making in Judaism on Thursday, November 10, at 4:00 p.m. in the Aquinas Hall Lounge. The presentation is open to the public.

Rabbi Franklin's lecture will be streamed live at

Rabbi Franklin’s lecture, “My Children Have Vanquished Me!”, will focus on how the process of decision-making unfolds regarding religious practices and scriptural interpretations in Jewish tradition. According to Dr. Arthur P. Urbano, Jr., assistant professor of theology, it also will give students in particular an opportunity to learn about religious authority in Judaism as well as the central role rabbis play in formulating Jewish law.

“I think sometimes those of us who are Catholic assume that every religion has a central figure, like a pope, who clearly defines the faith for everyone,” said Urbano. “But even in Catholicism, the teaching office, or authority, of the Church consists of the pope with the bishops. So, there are some interesting parallels and contrasts that this lecture will shed light on.”

Ordained in 1970, Rabbi Franklin has served as the senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El since 1981. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University and has been active in the Jewish community and beyond in various interfaith endeavors, including the Rabbis and Priests Dialogue and the Abrahamic Accord. He currently chairs the Publications Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of conservative rabbis.

Series objectives

Now in its third year, the Theological Exchange Between Catholics and Jews is intended to promote dialogue between Catholics and Jews. The series previously has featured lectures and presentations on the history of Catholic-Jewish relations, the priesthood in Judaism and Catholicism, and memory and liturgy in the Jewish and Catholic traditions.

“The series is intended to be a forum for learning and dialogue, a place for Jews and Catholics to learn about and from one another,” said Urbano. “Blessed Pope John Paul II called the Jewish people the ‘elder brothers and sisters’ of Christians, and Pope Benedict has continued to emphasize the Church’s ‘irrevocable’ commitment to dialogue between Jews and Christians.

“I see this lecture series as a way in which Providence College can participate in and contribute to this important work.”

--Robbie Smith-MacDonald ’12


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