JTS Presents “The Future of Judaism and Islam on American Campuses”—The Annual Pope John Paul II Lecture

Press Contact: Beatrice Mora
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: bemora@jtsa.edu

January 22, 2014, New York, NY

The Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City and the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue at the Angelicum in Rome are pleased to announce the Annual Pope John Paul II Lecture on Interreligious Understanding, "The Future of Judaism and Islam on American Campuses." The panel discussion will take place on February 18, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at JTS (3080 Broadway at 122nd Street in New York City), and feature Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, Rabbi Gail Swedroe of the University of Florida Hillel, and Professor Mehnaz Afridi of Manhattan College. Moderating the discussion will be Rev. Paul Raushenbush, Executive Religion Editor, Huffington Post. The event is cosponsored by the Russell Berrie Foundation. Admission is free, but reservations are required. RSVP to www.jtsa.edu/campuses. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for check-in, and have photo ID available. For more information, call (212) 678-8989.

Jews and Muslims in the United States share common aspirations. Young Jews and Muslims meet on US university campuses during their transition to adulthood and engage in debate and dialogue, form alliances, and try to look at issues from the other's point of view. Two issues affect both groups equally: retaining religious identity in the face of the assimilative forces on campus, and those things that divide the two religious bodies, particularly over Israel and Palestine. This panel discussion will focus on how Jews and Muslims can learn from one another how to best form uniquely American religious identities that will serve them into adulthood and communal responsibility.

Imam Abdullah T. Antepli is the Muslim chaplain and adjunct faculty of Islamic Studies at Duke University. He is one of America's leading Muslim advocates of interfaith work, especially in Jewish-Muslim reconciliation. Educated in his native Turkey, Imam Antepli is the founder and executive board member of the Muslim Chaplains Association. Rabbi Gail Swedroe is the assistant director and campus rabbi of the University of Florida Hillel. A graduate of JTS (The Rabbinical School, 2012) and the Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship, she is a proud member of the second cohort of the Shalom Hartman Institute's Campus Professionals Fellowship. Rabbi Swedroe is also a member of the University of Florida's Campus Multi-Faith Cooperative. Dr. Mehnaz Afridi is assistant professor of Religious Studies and director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She is committed to interfaith work and Holocaust education, and interested in contemporary Islam and issues of gender within Islam. Dr. Afridi is working on her forthcoming book, Shoah through Muslim Eyes. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, and raised in Europe and the Middle East, she brings with her a multicultural perspective.

The Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, established in 2011, locates now at one address at JTS the various interreligious activities that have been part of this institution's public profile for decades. It focuses on Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim engagements of both communal and academic nature. A partnership between the Russell Berrie Foundation and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), the John Paul Center for Interreligious Dialogue builds bridges between Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other religious traditions by providing the next generation of religious leaders with the opportunity to comprehensively study interfaith issues at the Angelicum.