Henry II of England

Henry II known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 to his death. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet. King Louis VII of France made him Duke of Normandy in 1150. Henry became Count of Anjou and Maine upon the death of his father, Geoffrey of Anjou, in 1151, his marriage in 1152 to Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII had been annulled, made him Duke of Aquitaine. He became Count of Nantes by treaty in 1185. At various times, Henry partially controlled Scotland and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would come to be called the Angevin Empire. Henry became involved by the age of 14 in the efforts of his mother Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England, to claim the throne of England occupied by Stephen of Blois. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later.

Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I. During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; this controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire at Louis's expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse. Henry and Eleanor had eight children -- five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king; as the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II.

In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest. France, Brittany and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels; the Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183; the Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, Philip played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou, he was succeeded by Richard. Henry's empire collapsed during the reign of his son John, but many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems.

Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign. Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133, the eldest child of the Empress Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou; the French county of Anjou was formed in the 10th century and the Angevin rulers attempted for several centuries to extend their influence and power across France through careful marriages and political alliances. In theory, the county answered to the French king, but royal power over Anjou weakened during the 11th century and the county became autonomous.

Henry's mother was King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a powerful ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy, her first husband had been the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. After her father's death in 1135, Matilda hoped to claim the English throne, but instead her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned king and recognised as the Duke of Normandy, resulting in civil war between their rival supporters. Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no direct role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother, Earl of Gloucester; the war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, degenerated into stalemate. Henry spent some of his earliest years in his mother's household, accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s. Henry's childhood from the age of seven, was spent in Anjou, where he was educated by Peter of Saintes, a note

Mordechai Liebling

Mordechai E. Liebling is the director of the newly created Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, he has worked throughout his career toward tikkun olam, repair of the world, RRC’s program is the first Jewish seminary-based initiative to offer a specialized certificate in justice organizing for rabbis. Liebling answered the calls for clergy to come to Ferguson, MO during the demonstrations, to Standing Rock to protest the building of the pipeline and was in Charlottesville, VA on the line facing the Alt-right. Through his own experience, Liebling came to realize that spiritual leaders hold unique power to demonstrate and inspire ethical choices, to lead a pursuit of justice fueled by caring rather than rage, he served as the executive vice president of Jewish Funds for Justice. For 12 years he was the executive director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, he served there as senior consultant. Before entering the rabbinical program at RRC, he worked as a community organizer.

Liebling was a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations for 12 years. He has served on the boards of various international non-profit organizations, he serves on the boards of the Faith and Politics Institute and Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, is the president emeritus of the Shalom Center. He has received awards from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility and Mazon. Liebling has spoken out for justice for people with disabilities, his family was the subject of the award-winning documentary film Praying With Lior, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Cornell University and Master of Arts in the history of American civilization, specializing in American progressive movements, from Brandeis University. Liebling is a 1985 graduate of RRC, he has published articles in many publications, including Tikkun, Israel Horizons, Jewish Currents and The Reconstructionist. He wrote a chapter entitled "The Odyssey" in the new book Brother Keepers: New Perspectives on Jewish Masculinity, in which he describes his personal spiritual journey.

He was married to Rabbi Devora Bartnoff Liebling, who died age 44 after a two-year struggle with breast cancer. “Making Synagogues Vessels of Tikkun Olam,” The Reconstructionist Volume 68, Number 1 “Money in Synagogues,” Sh’ma March 2005 “Tzedakah Collectives,” “The First Jewish Shareholder Activist Group,” http://www.

Annie Lee (actress)

Annie Lee is an American actress. During high school she appeared in commercials and music videos, she trained with acting coaches in Hollywood. As an actress she has appeared in the Rose of Sharon directed by Elliot Hong and the independent film Close Call, directed by her father and where she played the lead character. Lee began working in production and distribution of entertainment through various producers and film companies; as a filmmaker, Lee produced a short film titled Tomato and Eggs, directed by Shawn Chou, starring Michelle Krusiec, Keiko Agena and Sab Shimono. The film won the Audience Award for Best Asian-American Short Film at the Big Bear Film Festival. Lee owns a retail clothing store named CHIC Collection. Annie Lee on IMDb