ENCINO – He’s at an age when he could add “emeritus” after his title, but “retired” isn’t part of Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis’ vocabulary.
The 83-year-old rabbi from Valley Beth Shalom isn’t lounging around his Encino home watching TV. Teaching, writing and speaking out about injustices and unkindness in the world continues to be a never-ending, full-time job.
“He is a magnificent human being. He’s a great Torah scholar and a man of great moral consciousness. He is an inspiration to me,” said Marcy Rainey, a member of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino who has known Schulweis for 14 years.
Schulweis will receive the John Allen Buggs Humanitarian Award for his interfaith leadership from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations on Thursday at a luncheon in Monterey Park.
Buggs was a civil-rights leader and was part of the commission from 1954 to 1967.
“I am particularly moved about the award, even though I’m a strong believer of the separation of church and state,” Schulweis said. “I’m not a guy who is a political individual. I was totally dumbfounded. I accepted with great delight.”
Schulweis founded a group called Jewish World Watch to monitor human-rights violations around the world. Among his efforts on that front last year was to offer solidarity with the Armenian community.