Rabbi David Saperstein graduated from college thinking he’d be an English professor or a rabbi and a lawyer.
“I looked at religion and law as two great institutions capable of helping individual people, and changing society and the world for the better,” he said.
Saperstein ended up pursuing the latter, and his rabbi-lawyer background comes in handy with his current job. Saperstein serves as the ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom for the U.S., advising the president and secretary of state on issues of religious freedom worldwide.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Hall of Philosophy, Saperstein will give a lecture titled “Champions of Faith: Effective Leadership for Religious Freedom and Social Justice” as part of a week on “Moral Leadership in Action.” Saperstein will address moral leadership through the filter of the struggle for religious freedom worldwide, and tell stories of political and religious leaders who have been instrumental in that cause.
Saperstein said in college he was a product of the ’60s, and became involved in politics at a time when college campuses were extremely politically active. Afterward, Saperstein attended rabbinical school in New York City, where he became involved in a variety of social justice efforts, including those regarding the Vietnam War, civil rights and economic justice.