Welcome to the Soetendorp Institute
The Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values has been founded by Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp. Honoring the name of his late father, the Institute is building bridges between the religions, cultures and generations. It is guided by the imperative of tikkun olam, repairing a world that is broken for those in need, for ourselves and our future.
The basic motivation for the projects of the Soetendorp Institute was derived in Rabbi Soetendorp's moving life story, his "memory beyond memories": Having survived World War II as a hidden childed, rescued by a righteous couple who risked their lives for him, Rabbi Soetendorp has come to the conviction: When the gaze of a baby can still reach the heart, even in the deepest depravity, nothing is lost.
The Institute therefore promotes an "education of the heart" that generates hope, inspiration and empathy with other cultures, religions, and forms of life. We believe that these skills are essential for eradicating xenophobia and creating just, peaceful and sustainable communities.
Rabbi Soetendorp speaks at UN High-Level Event on Happiness and Well-Being
- Published: 01 May 2012
During the final plenary session of the different working groups, he facilitated an intergenerational Feather ceremony with young people and some of the participating spiritual leaders and presented a statement that the spiritual leaders had adopted. It reads:
"As leaders representing various spiritual traditions, we believe that in the new economic paradigm, the role of spiritual traditions is to preserve and transmit to future generations the wisdom and love inherent in their own religious heritages, while simultaneously serving as a force for change to nurture unity, in the knowledge that the world is one community, interconnected, and interdependent.
The new economic paradigm is based upon compassion, altruism, balance, and peace, dedicated to the wellbeing, happiness, dignity, and sacredness of all forms of life. Because external economic realities mirror internal psychological and spiritual realities, participants in the new paradigm pledge themselves to ethical conduct, reflecting and holding themselves to the highest level ofintegrity and virtue, increasing their sharing and dedication to others, and resilience in the face of challenges.
Because economics is based upon relationships, in the new paradigm, relationships are characterized by active service, justice, and cherishing the dignity of others' lives. We commit ourselves to thus nurturing the new economic paradigm personally and collectively in our own faith communities. May the new paradigm swiftly blossom throughout the world for the benefit of all those alive today and future generations yet unborn."
Please find more background information about the event on its official website.