Our Better Angels: Resources for the Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Texts, Talks, Music from the three-part series exploring
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Traditions on
Tragedy, Mourning, and Healing.


The Jewish Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary cosponsored three evenings of learning and music at St. Paul's Chapel (right next to Ground Zero) in New York City. Each evening explored Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions on Tragedy, Mourning, and Healing, respectively. Each event was concluded by a live musical performance.

View a slideshow of images from Our Better Angels

Download the texts and weekly program from the series.

Videos of Jewish, Christian, Muslim Dialogue and Music on Tragedy, Mourning, and Healing

Featured Panelists

Reverend Serene Jones, President of the Faculty and Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary

Professor Ingrid Mattson, past-president of the Islamic Society of North America, director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and professor of Islamic Studies, Hartford Seminary

Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies and director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies, JTS

Event Details

Theme Music Selection
Tragedy Chiara String Quartet played "Triptych" by Robert Sirota (commissioned for the first anniversary of 9/11).

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein played Bach-Busoni: Choral Prelude BWV 639; Bach: English Suite no. 3 in G Minor; Bach-Hess: Chorale Prelude BWV 147.

Read a review of Simone Dinnerstein's performance at Our Better Angels in the New York Times.

Healing Harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and cellist Frederick Zlotkin played Bach Sonata No. 2 for cello and harpsichord.

Master Class Information

The master classes brought together Jewish, Christian, and Muslim community leaders, clergy, and chaplains to share one another's traditions on the still pressing issues of tragedy, mourning, and healing in the wake of 9/11.

Over the course of six sessions, we created a network of like-minded clergy who can reach across interreligious borders to promote the common good for our city. All members of the class committed to bringing what they learned back to their own communities to help grapple with the ghosts of 9/11 a decade after the tragedy. Through the bonds forged in these intense master classes, New Yorkers will commemorate this fateful anniversary together as one community, rather than alone, isolated and fearful of one other.

These closed workshops were facilitated by emerging scholars, listed below, working in all three traditions—Muslim, Jewish, and Christian—and involved both the reading of ancient and contemporary texts and pastoral reflection on practical resources for community ministry and dialogue.

Master classes were made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Mary H. White, MD, chair of the Board of Trustees, Union Theological Seminary.

Emerging Scholars

Haroon Moghul, executive director of The Maydan Institute
Kathryn Reklis, senior adviser to the president and director of Theological Initiatives at Union Theological Seminary
Fran Snyder, PhD candidate in midrash and scriptural interpretation at JTS. She teaches Hebrew Bible and midrash at Eugene Lang College and The New School University.

This program is cosponsored by: