The Beckly Lecture 2023
Human Rights in the light of the Jewish Tradition – Responsibility towards Humanity
The Beckly Lecture 2023 took place on Monday 26th June, in Birmingham at the Methodist Conference. You can watch the livestream below.
A brief introduction to the lecture:
In the midst of escalating conflict and hostility in Israel and Palestine, what does faith have to say about upholding and advocating for human rights? What does action to honour and protect the human rights of all people within the Occupied Territories look like in practice? By opening up a dialogue between faiths, we’ll explore how faith can speak into the call for reconciliation, encounter and justice.
The Beckly Lecture 2023 was delivered by Rabbi Nava Hefetz, Educational Direction of Rabbis for Human Rights. Running programmes dealing with Human Rights in Israel, the occupied territories and overseas, Rabbi Nava works with Israeli communities to expose them to the reality of the Occupation and examine its repercussions from a Jewish standpoint. This work has included developing an interdisciplinary programme teaching human rights from a Jewish and international perspective, as well as supervising Rabbis across Israel working on human rights issues.
Rabbis for Human Rights currently runs programs supporting Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, fighting poverty and food insecurity and providing legal protection to vulnerable Palestinians in the occupied territories, as well as harnessing the teachings of the Abrahamic faiths as a means of reconciliation and understanding.
In 2012, Rabbi Nava launched the initiative Miklat Israel (Israel’ Shelter), which aims to hide and protect African asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan in Israeli families. Her past work has included curating exhibitions for the Diaspora Museum, working within the Israeli education system and working as a Rabbi in Johannesburg, Pretoria and China.
The Beckly Social Services Lecture takes place every year, as one of the fringe events at the Methodist Conference.
John Henry Beckly, a lay Wesleyan Methodist, founded the trust which is responsible for the lectures in 1926.
According to the original charter of the Beckly Trust, ‘the function of the Lectureship shall be to set forth the social implications of Christianity and to further the development of a Christian sociology and the expressions of the Christian attitude in reference to social, industrial, economic and international subjects.’
- 2022 – Britain: Global Power or Good Neighbour? – Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng
- 2021 – Faith and Leadership in a Global Pandemic – Prof Jason Leitch CBE
- 2020 – Peace, Pandemics and Plastic Bottles: Prioritising the Future – Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE
- 2019 – Politics and Faith in the US: Pursuing justice in divided times – Revd Dr Susan Henry-Crowe
- 2018 – Social mobility: a task for all of us – Rt Hon Baroness Gillian Shephard
You can find out more on the history of the lectures on the Methodist Church website.