At 7:30 pm on Tuesday, September 2 in the Gallagher Student Center food court on the campus of Xavier University, the new Office of Interfaith Community Engagement will share pictures and news of the expanding Xavier campus. Then, it will encourage students to participate in building the new Xavier - out of ice cream and graham crackers.
The idea came from Rabbi Abie Ingber, founding director of Xavier’s Office of Interfaith Community Engagement. He says the purpose of the new office is to offer a wide range of growth opportunities. He hopes to bring imaginative ideas that engage and challenge the student community, while promoting dialogue, discussion, and fellowship, regardless of faith tradition. This is certainly one of those imaginative ideas.
“The students see the pictures and hear the descriptions, but don’t really get it,” Ingber says of the pending construction of the new Hoff Academic Quad. “If they delve into actually building their new campus, they will understand and appreciate it so much more.” Plus, this is ice cream we’re talking about.
Ingber is a bridge builder. Throughout his rabbinic career, he has worked to bring together people from diverse communities, matching good people with opportunities for good deeds. For more than three decades he served as the executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center in Cincinnati. He now serves as adjunct faculty in the Department of Theology at Xavier and as a lecturer in homiletics at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Together with several Xavier colleagues, he created the award-winning exhibit, "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People." His creatively articulated passion for life and Tikkun Olam (healing the world) brought him to audiences with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Ingber was one of the founders of the student movement for human rights for Soviet Jewry, and remains a passionate voice for social justice.