|Photo by Paul Hellstern – The Oklahoman.|
Rabbi Vered Harris
Nominated by Wilfredo Santos-Rivera
During World War II, the Allies adopted the Four Freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want — as their basic war aims. The United Nations Charter “reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person” and committed all member states to promote “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”
When the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany became apparent after the war, the consensus within the world community was that the United Nations Charter did not sufficiently define the rights to which it referred. A universal declaration that specified the rights of individuals was necessary to give effect to the Charter’s provisions on human rights.
Ever since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December, 1948, the world has agreed that freedom of religion shall be protected as a human right.
As a representative of Temple B’Nai Israel, Rabbi Vered Harris is a champion of human rights in our state. The good people of Temple B’Nai Israel have supported human rights in Oklahoma over many years and in many different ways. For example, in January of this year, the Temple hosted the Martin Luther King Cross Cultural Program in collaboration with the Oklahoma City Martin Luther King Holiday Coalition.
Rabbi Vered Harris became Temple B’nai Israel’s spiritual leader in 2012. She has a master’s degree in Hebrew letters and a master’s degree in Jewish education. Harris was ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Harris is the fifth rabbi in the congregation’s 111 year long history.
On December 10th, the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance will honor human rights heroes from around our great state. A recognition program will take place at the State Capitol. Rabbi Vered Harris will be among those to be recognized. More information about the program can be found here: “Celebrate Human Rights.”
“Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.”
–From the Preamble to the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights