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Promoting Enduring Peace presents Gandhi Award to Rabbis for Human Rights

Rabbi Arik Ascherman and Rabbi Ehud Bandel of Rabbis for Human Rights received the 2011 Gandhi Peace Award from Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP) Sunday, May 1, 2011, for their nonviolent direct action to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories of Israel and Palestine. The award was conveyed at Center Church on the Green as part of New Haven’s annual May Day observance. Cupcakes and lemonade from Claire’s Corner Copia followed the ceremony.

Promoting Enduring Peace Board Member Susan Yolen presents the 2011 Gandhi Award to Rabbis Ehud Bandel and Arik Ascherman, of Rabbis for Human Rights at Center Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut, May 1, 2011.

The Gandhi Peace Award “honoring the world’s peace heroes” has been presented since 1960 for “contributions made in the promotion of international peace and good will” to peace heroes such as Eleanor Roosevelt, William Sloane Coffin, Benjamin Spock, Daniel Ellsberg, Dorothy Day, and César Chávez, all of whom accepted in person after presenting a message of challenge and hope.

“This year’s Award goes to Rabbi Arik Ascherman, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, and Rabbi Ehud Bandel, co-founder, who exemplify the struggle for nonviolent ways of resolving the persecution of Palestinians in Israel, potentially the keystone for world peace in the new century,” said PEP Secretary James van Pelt.

Music by Connecticut State Troubadour Lara Herskovitch, opened the proceedings, followed by a welcome by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Olsen, senior minister of Center Church on the Green. Video clips were shown depicting Rabbi Ascherman defending Palestinian farmers replanting trees uprooted by Israeli settlers, and Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed defending a Palestinian home from an Israeli bulldozer in March 2003.

Promoting Enduring Peace President Paul Hodel next to board member Susan Yolen in front the front row. (l-r) PEPeace Treasurer Jeffry Larson, Rabbi Ehud Bandel, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, PEPeace Secretary James Clement van Pelt.

Those interested in joining the RHR Hands-On Human Rights Tour to Israel and the West Bank Nov. 6-17, 2011, were invited to apply to PEP for financial assistance.

Promoting Enduring Peace was founded by Yale Divinity School Professor Jerome Davis in 1952 and is one of the most eminent US-based peace organizations. Its motto, “Peace on Earth. Peace with Earth” exemplifies its mission of bringing the movements for peace, environmental harmony, and social justice together “like beads on one string.” PEP publishes the daily international blog peacenews.org.

More information: James van Pelt, (203) 624-0122, office@pepeace.org.

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