The Patton Foundation’s Social Responsibility Officer, Rabbi Michael Shevack, made a significant contribution to the first-ever national conference on faith at work in February 2020. The conference celebrated the growing trend in corporate America towards a more inclusive, faith-friendly working environment. From Google to Facebook to Walmart, companies across a range of industries are recognizing that faith-friendly environments mean better workplaces and better businesses (see AP and Fox News stories).
Speaking at the Faith@Work plenary on workplace spirituality, Shevack emphasized that businesses need to be set on a foundation that is more than political, more than economic expediency. He celebrated the need and contribution of free enterprise, but said that it has to be tethered to that “freedom that is unlimited, unbounded, unrestricted, except by itself, which is a nice functional definition of God.”
“Corporate America is at a tipping point toward giving religion similar attention to that given the other major diversity categories,” says Dr. Brian Grim, founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation that co-hosted the conference along with The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business.
Rabbi Shevack, capturing the palpable energy of the 200 attendees from across corporate America, made a passionate call for the adoption of religious freedom in business to be more than just an event. “What we have now is the voluntary union of industry that had been stripped of religion that is now permitting conscience on a larger level to re-enter it. This is a serious reconstruction, reconstitution and revalidation of the holiness of industry under God’s hand.”
Shevack’s participation is a reflection of the Patton Foundation’s ethos, which includes dedication to a wide range of philanthropic endeavors inspired by the Patton-Holbrook family legacy of service and belief that liberation and reconciliation for every generation can be achieved through shared multi-cultural experiences, and of course, the spirit of freedom and liberation which was the military genius of General George S. Patton Jr., and the legacy he bequeathed the world in World War II.