Xavier University"s Rabbi Abie Ingber Honored by Cincinnati Human Relations Commission

April 20, 2012

Rabbi Abie Ingber, founding director of the office of Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University, will be honored as a Champion for Connecting Cultures and Communities at the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission’s annual awards dinner. The event will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel Pavilion Caprice. The dinner begins at 6:00 pm followed by the program and recognition at 7:15 pm. The cost is $75 per person or $125 per patron, which includes a 5:15 pm VIP reception. Reservations are due by May 5. Checks are payable to CHRC and should be mailed to: CHRC Dinner Committee, 2412 Ingleside Unit 2B, Cinti 45206. Tickets will be held at the door.

The awards dinner is presented to honor “Champions for Connecting Cultures and Communities.” Ingber will be recognized along with John Prout, CEO of TriHealth, Patricia Smitson, partner at Thompson Hine LLP, and Kathy Wade, entertainer, producer and activist. Deborah Allsop, Executive Director/CEO of FamiliesFORWARD will receive The Bishop Herbert Thompson Jr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award. J. Phillip Holloman, president and COO of Cintas Corporation, and Clarence Pauley III, VP of Human Resources for UC Health and University Hospital, will receive The Merlin G. Pope Jr. Leadership Diversity Award.

In addition to being the founding director of the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, Ingber is an adjunct professor of theology at Xavier University. For over 30 years, he was Executive Director and Senior Rabbi at the Hillel Jewish Student Center in Cincinnati.

The son of Holocaust immigrants, he has advocated all his life on behalf of immigrants. An early notable achievement came when he talked his way into John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Montreal hotel room during their famous 1969 “Bed In” to convince them to sign his petition for Russian Jewish emigration. He traveled with HIAS to Darfur to experience firsthand the situation of the refugees and to bring them the message of hope with which his parents raised him. In January, Ingber traveled to Israel and Ethiopia to accompany a group of Falash Mura to their homeland. They are Ethiopians whose Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity under social pressure, but who have resumed practicing Judaism and seek to emigrate to their homeland in Israel.

Ingber has been vice president of the Interreligious Information Center in NYC and is a founding board member of the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University. He co-created the award-winning exhibit “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” which has toured in more than a dozen cities since its opening in 2005. In 2009, Ingber and his co-directors delivered - as promised - 31,009 prayers written by exhibit visitors to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Ingber is known across the country and around the world for his unifying efforts and strong speeches. His work at Jesuit Xavier University gathers students from all faith and ethnic backgrounds to encounter each other and serve together for the betterment of all. In 2007, he co-convened the first Catholic-Jewish Lay Conference at the Vatican. In 2008, he received the Eternal Light Award from the Center for Jewish-Catholic Studies in Tampa, FL. The University of Cincinnati has bestowed on him the Dr. Martin Luther King Award and the Just Community Award. Abie Ingber has been an ordained rabbi for 35 years.

The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission serves as a catalyst to unify individuals and groups to improve human relations in the Greater Cincinnati area. CHRC helps our community overcome prejudice and discrimination, and builds mutual respect and understanding to become more harmonious and cohesive.