In the last several months, reports from around the country have been confirming what child welfare experts feared: Economic hard times bring a drastic increase in child abuse and domestic violence. Newspapers nationally are reporting 30 percent to 50 percent increases in some regions of the country; in Los Angeles, both Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services and Jewish Family Service (JFS) report spikes in their clientele.
The "Genocide and Religion: Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders and Resisters" Synoposium went deeper than many such conferences by examining as many as possible of the various groups involved in a genocide -- the perpetrators, the victims, the bystanders and resisters -- all of whom can be found in every such conflict, past and present.
To find the answer, I went to the new Robert Weingarten photo exhibit, "6:30 am," which runs through July 17 at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu.
The breathtaking beauty of Pepperdine University inspires spirituality, surely not unintentional for the founders of this 67-year-old Churches of Christ institution, where instilling moral values based on a love of God is as much a part of the mission as academic excellence.
At the very top of the tiered campus is Pepperdine's School of Law. On its top floor is the office of Sam Levine, an associate professor of law who happens to be an Orthodox rabbi at the nexus of quietly flourishing Jewish community in the middle of a Christian university.