Read Part I here, and Part II here. When I ate lunch with the rabbi he inveighed against interfaith dialogue and its inability to reach or transform the minds of those who are closed to dialogue. He said, “Interfaith activists say one thing and they do another—they preach transformation and tolerance, but they are already […]
We are pleased to be sharing, over the coming weeks, a series of four reflection pieces on the State of Formation visit to the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum this spring. I’ve been working in the field of interfaith dialogue for more than a decade. On good days it’s a lot of fun, and I […]
Having been raised in an observant Italian Catholic household, I understand the importance of family, food, holidays, and motherly guilt. This week marks the 10th anniversary of my conversion to Judaism, a religion which also prides itself on a strong connection to family, food, holidays, and motherly guilt. While the choice to align myself with […]
Read Part I here. At lunch after Purim, I heard the rabbi criticize interfaith projects for being “just another religious group.” I reflected on the irony of a religious clergy person dismissing the bonding function of the interfaith society. If indeed the interfaith society becomes a “religion” of its own, this is no reason to […]
Interfaith dialogue is of increasing importance on a daily basis in our current international social, political and economic order. This can be seen in the current interfaith groups that are gathering together in Baltimore as well as other places around the United States to protest police brutality as well as other social issues. Discussing how religious traditions relate to the social order in the pursuit of justice is just one of the many aspects of interfaith dialogue. As cultures and religions come into ever closer contact with each other, understanding the ways in which both one’s own religious identity and that of other people living in the same area inform and shape identity and aids in the creation of mutual understanding and fellowship between people of different backgrounds.
In 2014, I made a very close non-Christian friend. A beautiful Muslim woman, deeply spiritual, and full of compassion for others; we spent our days together eating snacks, discussing our religions, and debating some of the intense happenings in our world. Although most of my other friends are Christian, there was something unique about this […]
After the most recent Purim morning service at my synagogue, I ate lunch with the rabbi. He told me he thinks interreligious dialogue is an in-group hobby, that interfaith groups become cliques. He felt these groups “preach to the choir,” and that people interested in dialogue are already liberal, educated, and concerned about religion. Interfaith, […]
As a student of religion, above all else, I am committed to identifying the spirit of the poetic in my work. I turn to writing as a form of prayer, a languaged response to the unlanguaged Other of the sacred. Yet in the process of engaging in Christian ritual and studying the ritual of other faiths, I expand to a state beyond language.
My parents recently moved to a new city, so naturally they are making lots of new friends. Often they are asked about their family. The conversation inevitably goes something like this: New friend: Do you have any children? Parents: Yes, we have one son. New friend: And what does he do? Parents: He’s studying to […]
I haven’t written publicly about my life in Israel since I moved here. The truth is I’m scared to face the inevitable backlash that follows any time you write anything about this country. Many of my Jewish friends and family will call me a self-hating Jew (at the very least, often the names get much […]