Speakers to explore Jewish-Christian relations

Speakers to explore Jewish-Christian relations

Joseph V. Montville 
Joseph V. Montville 

“Can We All Get Along?” is an important question that the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies will explore in detail at its annual Dr. Marcia Robbins Wilf Lecture.

The free event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6, 3-4:30 p.m. in Jubilee Hall Auditorium on the South Orange campus of Seton Hall University. A reception will follow. 

The three speakers are Joseph V. Montville, director, Program on Healing Historical Memory, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University; Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz of Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston; and Anisa Mehdi, Emmy Award-winning correspondent, director, and producer.

Montville is is also a senior associate and chair of the Goldziher Prize Committee in the Center for the Study of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Relations at Merrimack College in Massachusetts; director of the Abrahamic Family Reunion, the Esalen Institute project to promote Muslim-Christian-Jewish reconciliation; and senior adviser on interfaith relations at Washington National Cathedral. He spent 23 years as a diplomat with posts in the Middle East and North Africa and worked in the State Department’s Bureaus of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs and Intelligence and Research. In 2008, the International Society of Political Psychology gave Montville its Nevitt Sanford Award for “distinguished professional contribution to political psychology.” 

Dantowitz was a rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills for 11 years, then served as regional director of admissions and recruitment at HUC-JIR in New York for six years. She was in the fourth rabbinic cohort of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and serves as advocacy vice president of the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She is also involved with NJ Together Against Gun Violence and was selected as an American Jewish World Service Global Justice Rabbinic Fellow (2014-15). 

Mehdi is a journalist, columnist, and consultant specializing in global affairs, religion, and culture. She began her career at Eyewitness News in Boston and moved on to the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes. Additional credits include PBS Frontline, ABC Nightline, and NPR’s All Things Considered. An Arab-American Muslim, Mehdi helped broaden the scope of reporting on the Middle East, particularly after 9/11. Her National Geographic documentary Inside Mecca (2003) profiles three individuals making the hajj and she directed the hajj episode for PBS’s 2014 series Sacred Journeys. Mehdi reported for PBS’s Religion and Ethics News Weekly and was culture correspondent and arts talk show host for over a decade on WNET/New Jersey Network. 

To RSVP, contact Clare Giangreco at 973-761-9006 or clare.giangreco@shu.edu or visit www7.shu.edu/artsci/marcia-robbins-wilf.cfm.

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