Experts to Address the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Upcoming Lecture

Three leading voices on this critically important and timely subject—Mark Hetfield, Dr. Georgette F. Bennett, and Shadi Martini—will share their perspectives at “The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Realities and Responses,” the Henry N. and Selma S. Rapaport Memorial Lecture of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). The program will be presented Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at JTS, 3080 Broadway (corner 122nd Street) in New York City.

RSVP at Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students. Tickets and photo ID are required for admission.

The event will also be livestreamed at no charge, at (registration not required for the livestream). JTS encourages synagogues and other Jewish communal organizations to hold a public screening of this outstanding program. To learn more, please contact

Mark Hetfield is president and CEO of HIAS, a global organization guided by Jewish values, which assists refugees of all faiths and ethnicities. He is an expert in refugee and immigration law, policy, and programs.

Dr. Georgette F. Bennett is founder and president of the Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. In 2013, she founded the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees as a faith-based response to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Shadi Martini, senior Syria advisor at the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, was a businessman in Syria before the war turned him into a refugee, activist, and advocate for greater cooperation across faiths and cultures. He fled Syria in 2012.

The annual Henry N. and Selma S. Rapaport Memorial Lecture was originally established in 1982 by Selma S. Rapaport (1916–2010), who served as president of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and as a longtime JTS board member, in memory of her late husband. A distinguished attorney and committed Jew, Henry N. Rapaport (1905–1980) served as president of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York, and as president of United Synagogue. He was an active member of the JTS board and a generous benefactor of JTS’s scholarly programs.

This program is cosponsored by HIAS, the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, and the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue at JTS.