07/10/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/10/2017 09:12
July 10, 2017- JERUSALEM - Twenty-two prominent U.S. Christian leaders are in Jerusalem for the final phase of an intensive 13-month educational program on Judaism and Israel, part of the Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI), a partnership of AJC and the Shalom Hartman Institute. The final 10-day segment of the CLI program beginsJuly 11, and study will focus on faith, war and peace.
The CLI program opens and closes with seminars in Israel. Between the two summer seminars, participants, representing diverse denominations in Christianity, engage in monthly distance-learning sessions, in which they study classical and modern Jewish texts with leading Israeli and North American Jewish scholars.
Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC's director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, said CLI provides an 'open space' for Christian leadership to experience and study Judaism and Israel from a Jewish perspective, fostering a unique process to secure positive interreligious relations.
'Christian understanding of Judaism is advanced by CLI, as fellows apply this program's teachings within their Christian communities,' Rabbi Marans said.
Dr. Marcie Lenk, Director of Christian Leadership Programs at Shalom Hartman Institute, said program facilitators and participants have gotten to know one another as the Christian participants learned about Jewish discourse on a variety of theological issues.
'This year we will build on that trust as we discuss and encounter even more controversial issues,' Dr. Lenk said. 'I know that the people in this group will be challenged and will challenge all of us in return.'
With generous support from the Allen H. & Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust,and from Jean Weidner Goldstein and the late Alfred R. Goldstein,CLI has been educating top leadership of Christian seminaries, denominations, and churches since 2008. The 80 CLI alumni come together for periodic seminars to deepen their knowledge of contemporary Jewish thought and life.
Summer 2017 participants, the fifth cohort of CLI fellows, include: