U.S. Christian Leaders Begin Year-long Study of Judaism in Israel
AJC and the Shalom Hartman Institute are pleased to welcome the 23 prominent North American Christian leaders that will comprise Cohort V of the Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI), an intensive 13-month educational program on Judaism, a partnership with AJC

Christian Leadership Institute participants study with rabbis at Shalom Hartman Institute, July 2016. Photo by Netanel Tobias

Christian Leadership Institute participants study with rabbis at Shalom Hartman Institute, July 2016. Photo by Netanel Tobias

AJC and the Shalom Hartman Institute welcomed in July the 23 prominent North American Christian leaders that comprise Cohort V of the Christian Leadership Initiative, an intensive 13-month educational program on Judaism, a partnership of AJC and the Hartman Institute in Israel.

The program begins and ends with seminars in Israel. The first 10-day Israel based seminar ran from July 12-21,2016, 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.

“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 in Jerusalem 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.

CLI Cohort V Participants

Christian Leadership Initiative Cohort V participants at Shalom Hartman Institute, July 2016. Photo by Netanel Tobias

Christian Leadership Initiative Cohort V participants at Shalom Hartman Institute, July 2016. Photo by Netanel Tobias

  • 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, Bear Creek United Methodist Church, Woodinville, 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. Charles (Chaz) L. Howard, University Chaplain, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • 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, Catonsville, 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

About AJC

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.

Interreligious relations have been a cornerstone of AJC since its inception. Mutual understanding, religious freedom, and peace and security for peoples of all faiths are essential elements in fulfillment of AJC’s global mission. AJC has paved the way as a global leader in Christian-Jewish relations and interreligious affairs more broadly.

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