U.S. Christian leaders begin year-long study of Judaism in Israel

Twenty-three prominent North American Christian leaders t will comprise the Cohort V of the Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI), an intensive 13-month educational program on Judaism, a partnership of American Jewish Committee and the Hartman Institute in Israel.

The program begins and ends with seminars in Israel. The first 10-day Israel based seminar will begin on  July 12 in Jerusalem, with a seminar entitled, “Encountering Judaism: Faith, People, Land.” In between the two summer seminars, participants, representing diverse Christian denominations, engage in monthly distance-learning sessions, and study classical and modern Jewish texts with leading Israeli and North American Jewish scholars.

“CLI transforms Christian leadership understanding of Judaism and Israel, fostering an intellectually open environment of the type needed to secure positive interreligious relations,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations in Jerusalem. “Christian-Jewish relations are advanced by CLI, as fellows apply this experience in their roles as Christian thought leaders.”

“This is a unique program, bringing together a diverse group of American Christian academics and Church leaders,” said Dr. Marcie Lenk, Shalom Hartman Institute’s Director of Christian Leadership Programs. “Here inJerusalem they will study and meet with a wide variety of Jewish scholars and leaders. There is so much that we can all learn from one another.”

With generous support from the Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust, and from Jean Weidner Goldstein and Alfred R. Goldstein, CLI has been educating top leadership of Christian seminaries, denominations, and churches since 2008. The 81 CLI alumni come together for periodic symposia to deepen their knowledge of contemporary Jewish thought.

AJC (American Jewish Committee) is the global Jewish advocacy organization, with headquarters in New York, 22 regional offices across the United States, and 10 offices around the world, including one in Jerusalem. Founded in 1906, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. – USNewswire

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