Rabbi Richard A. Block

Rabbi Richard A. Block, senior rabbi at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood and Cleveland, will be the guest preacher April 12 at University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 E. 107th St. in Cleveland.

Block will speak during the church’s Sunday morning service, which begins at 11 a.m.

The Rev. Kenneth W. Chalker, the church’s senior pastor, said Block has been a friend of his for many years and that he has wanted him to speak at the church for some time.

“This was the first time that our schedules coincided,” Chalker said. “I suggested a date and it worked, so I jumped at the opportunity to have him come here because he is a significant voice in American Judaism.”

Chalker said he and Block have stood together on a number of key issues and community events in Greater Cleveland. He said Block’s understanding of what Israel faces as a nation and “his articulate affirmations of why Israel is important to the world” are among the reasons he wanted him to speak at the church.

“People need to hear it, and there’s no one better able to say it than he is,” he said. “He’s also a man of great faith, and people need to hear that as well. My admiration for him just continues to grow.”

Chalker said he hopes church members will gain “a new awareness of what Israel faces and a broader understanding of faith in life as it underpins us all” from Block’s talk.

“I am honored Rick is going to be here,” he said.

Block, of Shaker Heights, recently completed a two-year term as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He has served as senior rabbi at The Temple since 2001.

In 2008, Newsweek magazine recognized Block as one of “The Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in America.” His writings have appeared in Time magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward and many other publications and are widely shared on social media.

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