The holiday celebrations are officially underway. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began Tuesday and will continue until December 24. Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of Clal — the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, visits the show once again to discuss the origins and significance of the religious holiday and how it is celebrated. He shares his message for this Hanukkah season, and it is one of hope.

A few updates
With the vacancy for U.S. Surgeon General finally being filled, another important appointment may have been overlooked. The U.S. Senate approved Rabbi David Saperstein as the U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom — the first non-Christian to earn the post. Rabbi Saperstein served on the Interfaith Alliance Board of Directors for several years and was the first chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is a friend of Welton’s and will do good work to ensure religious faith helps, and does not hurt, people around the world.

We’re happy to report the Water for the World Act of 2014, endorsed by guest Malcolm Morris of Living Water International a few weeks back, has been passed by Congress and is now awaiting signature from President Barack Obama. But at the same time, one of our listeners reminded us that residents of Detroit are also facing a clean water crisis. It is critically important to remember our human rights issues at home as aid is sent to others in need.

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