AJC - American Jewish Committee

07/10/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/10/2017 09:12

U.S. Christian Leaders Complete Yearlong Study of Judaism in Israel

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:

  • Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, Professor of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
  • The Rev. Doris K. Dalton, Executive Director, Westchester MLK, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, White Plains, NY
  • Rev. Lillian Daniel, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Dubuque, IA
  • Rev. Meredith Dodd, Pastor, Seattle, WA
  • Dr. Brian Flanagan, Associate Professor of Theology, Marymount University, Arlington, VA
  • Dr. Adam Hearlson, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship; Director, Wilson Chapel, Andover Newton Theological School, Boston, MA
  • Rev. David Heim, Executive Editor,The Christian Century, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Dr. Katie M. Ladd, Pastor, Queen Anne United Methodist Church, Seattle, WA
  • Dr. Kyong-Jin Lee, Associate Professor of Old Testament Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA
  • Rev. Jessica MacMillan, Stated Clerk and Associate for Equipping Leaders, The Presbytery of the Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH
  • Rev. Grey Maggiano, Rector, Memorial Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD
  • Rev. Jacquelina Marquez, Associate University Chaplain, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • The Rev. Dr. Loida I. Martell-Otero, Professor of Constructive Theology, Palmer Theological Seminary/Eastern University, King of Prussia, PA
  • Dr. David Mengel, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
  • The Rev. Mario Milián, Rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, Coral Gables, FL
  • Dr. Daniel J. Olsen, Assistant Director, Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Dr. Jason Poling, Senior Pastor, New Hope Community Church, Pikesville, MD
  • Rev. Dr. Robert Scott, Senior Pastor, Central Baptist Church, St. Louis, MO
  • Rev. Dr. Jacqueline A. Thompson, Assistant Pastor, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, CA
  • Dr. Amy Uelmen, Lecturer, Georgetown Law School, Washington, DC
  • Dr. Reggie Williams, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
  • The Rev. Canon Manoj Zacharia, Sub-Dean, Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati, OH