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.
Symposium - Video & Audio
- Published: 30 December 2008
"The Insolent Waters: Moral Choices for an Endangered Planet"
The Hague, 26 February 2008
“The Insolent Waters – Moral Choices for an Endangered Planet” was the title of an international Symposium held on the occasion of Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp's retirement as Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Congregation of The Hague. The event that was attended by around 200 invited guests commemorated Rabbi Soetendorp’s many achievements as Rabbi, Earth Charter Commissioner, Ambassador for the MDGs and committed world citizen.
Among the speakers were The Netherlands’ former Prime Minister and Earth Charter Commissioner Ruud Lubbers, Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau, and Dr. Katherine Marshall of the Berkley Center for Religion and World Affairs in Washington DC, who is a colleague of Rabbi Soetendorp's in the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders for Islam-West Dialogue.
Observing the symposium, it was a an exiting moment to meet two remaining relatives of the foster family that cared for Awraham as a baby during Nazi occupation. Awraham has touched the hearts of millions of people by telling his moving life story, the story of having survived the Holocaust because of the courage of a German-born woman who opened her door for a baby that was placed in front of her in a suitcase. Seeing Rabbi Awraham who in his first years grew up as Bobby van der Kemp embrace the two remaining nieces of his foster mother was indeed very moving.Download the Program Booklet of the Symposium here...
Symposium Video part 1:
Symposium Video part 2:
Speeches - Audio Files:
Introduction by Prof. Ted Young:
Introduction by Leon de Winter:
Dr. Ruud Lubbers:
Forming a global partnership to care for the Earth and one another
HRH Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau:
Forming a global partnership - the European contribution
Professor Rabbi Marc Saperstein:
Jewish Identity and strengthening universal values
Imam Maoulana Umer Ahmad Ilyasi:
Islamic values and making difficult choices
Download transcrips here...
Prof. Katherine Marshall:
Water for peace; from conflict to resolution
Download transcripts here...
Ms. Erica Terpstra:
(Inter)national politics and making difficult choices
Rabbi David Lilienthal:
Jewish values and making difficult choices
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp:
The Insolent Waters