Reminiscent of George Clooney’s character in the 2009 movie “Up in the Air,” Xavier University’s Rabbi Abie Ingber has racked up a really significant number of frequent flyer miles over the past few weeks.
From Aug. 23 -30, he traveled to Cameroon at the invitation of CAMSU, one of the largest Muslim student organizations in Africa, to speak at its conference on the theme of Cameroon's Islamic future and its relationship to other world religions. He addressed the group twice and the U.S Ambassador to Cameroon was in attendance.
From Sept. 28 – Oct. 6, Ingber will be in Poland as the guest of Sigmund Rolat of New York City (formerly of Czestochowa, Poland), the major funder for the new Museum of the History of the Polish Jews being built in Warsaw. Ingber, James Buchanan of Xavier’s Brueggeman Center and the offices of Xavier’s president and provost hosted Rolat and members of his Czestochowa delegation at Xavier last spring. Ingber and Rolat will open the door to the Living Memory Project. The project will bring Xavier students and Polish college students together restoring abandoned Holocaust-era Jewish cemeteries. In addition, Ingber will have meetings at Auschwitz to discuss the loan of artifacts for the award-winning exhibit, “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People.” The exhibit, which premiered at Xavier in 2005, is scheduled to be the first traveling exhibition at the opening of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews.
While he is in Poland, the National Museum of Kielce has asked Ingber to deliver a lecture on October 1 teaching how to move from religious tolerance to celebration. The museum is housed in the former 17th century palace of Krakow’s bishops. A Dialogue Museum is opening within the newly re-designed National Museum and Ingber is the first American to deliver a lecture there.
“I am very honored that I could represent Xavier, its division of Student Affairs and department of Theology, in this way,” says Ingber. “After giving two lectures in Cameroon before 150 Muslim student leaders, and welcoming our wonderful students back to Xavier’s campus, this adds to a wonderful beginning for celebrating interfaith community engagement during 2012-2013.”
For the curious – Ingber logged a grand total of 24,734 miles sharing peace, healing and celebration with the world.