CLE: Full Day

Apr/19 08:45 - Apr/19 16:15

Gratz College Reading Room

April 19, 2018 - 8:45am to 4:15pm

Gratz College Reading Room

8:45 am - 12:15 pm

What needs to be done – Compared with Jewish law and practice regarding punishment and imprisonment

Robert Lankin, J.D., CFP®, CEP®, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
Angus R. Love, Esq., Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
Rabbi Andrea Merow, Beth Sholom Congregation

In the last fifty years the number of incarcerated people in the United states has exploded. Today around 2.3 million adults in the United States are incarcerated, which is approximately one quarter of all the prisoners on the planet.

In this presentation, the problem will be presented and solutions suggested. Pennsylvania houses around 100,000 inmates, in state, county and federal institutions. It is believed that the cost in Pennsylvania alone is in excess of five billion dollars per year. There is no quick solution but in order for society to reverse this process in a meaningful way, public attitudes need to change.  This program is an attempt to do just that.  

Jewish people, with four thousand years of laws and commentaries, have a lot to say on the subject. Comparing the state of incarceration in this country with Jewish law and practice is a useful and interesting exercise.

Kosher continental breakfast included.
Doors open at 8:30 am.

Robert Lankin has served several decades as a volunteer and is now the prisoners coordinator at the Jewish Congregation at Graterford.  He has been a member of the bar since 1976.  He serves as a member of the Corrections committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and is a member of the policy committee of the Pennsylvania Prison society.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Beth Sholom Congregation for more than two decades and is a past district governor of Rotary International District 7450. 

Angus Love, Esq. is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (PILP). The Project seeks to provide free civil legal assistance to over 100,000 institutionalized persons in Pennsylvania. He is a past President of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, where he continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Mr. Love is also on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), Community Assistance for Prisoners and Prisoner Visitation & Support, CURE. Over the past twenty-five years, Mr. Love has litigated hundreds of prisoner civil rights cases in the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania state court system and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is a graduate of Ohio State University and the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Andrea Merow is a rabbi at Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, PA since 2004. She was the rabbi at Temple Sholom in Philadelphia from 1997 to 2004. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1992, with honors, from Columbia University with a major in History and Women’s Studies, and from the Jewish Theological Seminary in Talmud and Rabbinics. She earned a Master’s Degree and Rabbinic Ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997. She serves on the Executive Council of The Rabbinical Assembly, the International Association of Conservative Rabbis. She co-chairs their committee on making RA Public Statements, many of which are on social justice issues. Rabbi Merow has a deep interest in issues of social justice.


12:45 pm - 4:15 pm
Paul Finkelman, PhD, President of Gratz College

The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War--Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story--upheld the institution of slavery in ruling after ruling. These opinions cast a shadow over the Court and the legacies of these men, but historians have rarely delved deeply into the personal and political ideas and motivations they held. Dr.Paul Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice’s proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the incentives created by circumstances in his private life.

The book, Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court, by Dr. Paul Finkelman will serve as written materials for the course and will be given out on the day of the course.
Kosher lunch included (beginning at 12:15 pm)


Auditors are welcome at a reduced price.

Event contact information

For more information, contact Mindy Cohen at 215-635-7300 x155 or

Register online.