Back to the Bible, Xavier's marathon public reading of the first book of the Bible, begins at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, when Xavier students, faculty, staff and members of the Greater Cincinnati community begin reading the Book of Genesis aloud and don’t stop until they reach the end of the Hebrew Scriptures (II Chronicles). Back to the Bible continues on Wednesday, Nov., 4 in the Clock Tower Lounge of the Gallagher Student Center on the Xavier campus.
The reading, said organizer and Rabbi Abie Ingber, is a "chance to slow down and come together."
Individuals are asked to sign up to read publicly for 15 minutes in the language of their choice and from the Bible of their choice. Organizers of Back to the Bible hope to hear as many as 30 different languages reading the selections. To register as a reader, go online to reserve 15-minute shifts and for additional information.
Among noted individuals who are scheduled to read are:
• Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, using the Latin Vulgate, Inayat Malik, of the Islamic Center of Greater CIncinnati, and Dean James Diamond of Christ Church Cathedral (Eiscopal), reading at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
• Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J., reading at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
• Thane Maynard, executive director of the CIncinnati Zoo, at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
• Brian Jaffee, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday.
• Gerry Walter, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Sholom, at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.
“For more than 175 years, Xavier has so brilliantly and lovingly discharged its mission to provide exceptional academics in a Jesuit environs,” said Ingber, founding director of Xavier’s Office for Interfaith Community Engagement, which is sponsoring the reading. “And for the first time in its history, the words of the Bible will be heard aloud night and day and in the languages of the world community.”
The mission of the Interfaith office is to create and strengthen a sense of community among individuals of diverse faiths on campus, in Cincinnati, and on regional and national levels. Four student leaders are organizing the program, which is expected to last 60 to 65 hours. The four students are Kevin Contrera, Maggie Prosser, Jana Dykas and Lauren Boxell.