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Ben Kamin

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Ben Kamin

Ben Kamin (born 1953) is a nationally-known rabbi, teacher, counselor, and the author of eight books on human values. He is a scholar on Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He has led congregations in Toronto, New York, Cleveland, and San Diego since his ordination in 1978. He has published over 1000 articles about community life in newspapers around the world, ranging from The New York Times to The International Herald Tribune. He has been quoted in the Ann Landers column[1] and in the Congressional Record. He appears frequently on radio and television and serves on several national boards dealing with community affairs and interfaith relations. He is the father of two adult children and lives in San Diego. Rabbi Kamin holds the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College.

In 2007, Ben Kamin was elected to the American Society of Journalists and Authors. A recent book, Nothing Like Sunshine: A Story in the Aftermath of the MLK Assassination," was published in 2010 by Michigan State University Press. A documentary based upon the book is being planned by Enduring Freedom Productions. Kamin resigned from the San Diego Rabbinical Association after creating, in 2004, an independent agency that services interfaith situations called Reconciliation: The Synagogue Without Walls.[2] Kamin has auditioned on the Broadway stage and was a finalist for the position of Commissioner of Baseball in 1993.

He spoke at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 2010, the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., introducing his memoir, "Nothing Like Sunshine: A Story in the Aftermath of the MLK Assassination." Kamin launched his newest book, "ROOM 306: The National Story of the Lorraine Motel," at the National Civil Rights Museum on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of MLK assassination, April 4, 2012.

Kamin has completed his ninth book, "DANGEROUS FRIENDSHIP: Martin Luther King Jr., The Kennedy Brothers, and Stanley Levison," also to be released by Michigan State University Press.

Publications

  • Stones in the soul: one day in the life of an American rabbi, Macmillan Publishing, 1990

"a sweeping account of the making of a rabbi in America, and, in a sense, an apology for the separate peace that a modern rabbi must make with God if he is to survive at all."[3]

  • Raising a thoughtful teenager: a book of answers and values for parents, Dutton, 1996

"The rabbi has not written a chapter-and-verse, throw-the-book-at-them advice book. He presents a gentler but well-grounded alternative."[4]

  • Thinking Passover: a rabbi's book of holiday values, Dutton, 1997

In this book, Kamin "weaves his own Israeli origin and early upbringing and his parents' participation in the struggle for Israel's independence into the biblical Passover story."[5]

  • The Spirit Behind the News, Muffin Dog Press, 2009
  • Nothing like sunshine: a story in the aftermath of the MLK assassination, Michigan State University Press, 2010

"Through the filter of nearly 40 years of his own life, Rabbi Kamin explores American race relations, the rapid social change of the 1960s, and his efforts to model his own spiritual life after that of King's."[6]

References

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