Worldview Forum

Spring 2024

Malone University Worldview Forum
The Israel-Gaza Conflict: Local Perspectives

Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 7 pm in the Johnson Center 106
In the face of the brutal Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recent national conflicts stemming from it—whether protests and counter-protests, accusations of pro-Israel bias or anti-Semitism, resignations of university presidents, political censures, even threats of violence and actual violence against both Jews and Palestinians—what can we do in Northeast Ohio to promote healing and non-violence? We’ve invited a member of our community with connections to Israel and one with connections to Palestine to help us foster peace at home and abroad.
Rabbi David Komerofsky came to Temple Israel in Canton, Ohio in July 2020. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati in 1999, earned the Master of Arts degree at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles in 1997, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1993. He is currently a student in the Doctor of Ministry program at Ashland Theological Seminary.
David began his career at his alma mater seminary in Cincinnati immediately after ordination, eventually becoming dean of students and director of the rabbinical school. In 2006, he was recruited to Austin to become executive director of the Texas Hillel Foundation at the University of Texas. In 2013, he relocated to San Antonio and began working remotely for Hillel International and locally for Temple Chai, which he served until coming to Canton. 
He credits his childhood mentors at Temple Israel in Akron, Rabbi David M. Horowitz and Cantor Gedaliah Gertz z”l, as well as his active involvement in NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth), with his decision to become a rabbi. David is married to Cleveland native and Hillel International Campus Support Director Ronit Sherwin, and their blended family includes two sets of twins.
Steve Sosebee was born in 1965 in Kent, Ohio. He is the co-founder, President/CEO of the US-based non-profit humanitarian medical relief organization, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, which was founded in 1991 in Palestine while he was working as a journalist and met many injured kids in need of medical care they could not get in their occupied country. Since its founding, the PCRF has become the main NGO in the world sending thousands of international volunteers to provide free medical care for tens of thousands of sick and injured Arab children in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq who could otherwise not get the care that they needed locally. PCRF also arranges free surgery outside of the Middle East for over one thousand injured Arab children, regardless of their nationality, race or religion.
In 1993, Steve married Huda Al Masri in Ramallah and they had two girls, Deema and Jenna, during their 17-year marriage, which ended with the passing of Huda from cancer in 2009. In 2013, the PCRF opened the first pediatric cancer department in Palestine in the name and honor of Huda. In 2016, Steve remarried Dr. Zeean Salman, an American-Sudanese pediatric oncologist. They have one daughter, Layla-Fawzyah. In 2018, Steve was given a Palestinian passport and ID card, living in the West Bank now as a Palestinian. During the current crisis, Steve was interviewed on CNN, among other outlets. And of January 1, he left the PCRF and founded a new NGO called HEAL Palestine.

worldview forum logoThe intent of the Worldview Forum Series is to provide the community with the opportunity to practice critical thinking and civil dialogue in the comparison of various worldviews in a professionally moderated, academic environment. It is expected that the forums will help those who attend learn to identify the constituent elements of differing worldviews as well as their implications upon belief and practice.  Past topics have included discussions between Muslims and Christians, the commonalities between the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant faiths, just-war and pacifism, homosexuality, pagan religions, and much more.