Hebrew College's Miller Center Hosts Colloquium on Rabbinical Training in Multi-Religious Society

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NEWTON CENTRE and BOSTON, Mass. — December 13, 2016. The Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership at Hebrew College hosted a unique colloquium on the training of rabbis for service in a multi-religious society.

This gathering brought together 15 outstanding educators, scholars, and clergy from eight different seminaries and related organizations to share best practices and challenges in interreligious education. The participants explored what knowledge, skills, and experiences rabbis need to possess in order to be effective bridge-builders across faith and cultural lines.

Commenting on the gathering, Rabbi Or Rose, Director of the Miller Center and colloquium organizer, said, "In a diverse society like the U.S., and in our increasingly interconnected world, we need religious leaders who are adept at working together for the common good." He added, "This requires educators to carefully consider how to integrate appropriate interreligious pedagogies into the formation experiences of rabbinical students and other Jewish leaders."

Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue at Jewish Theological Seminary noted that, “This conference of interreligious dialogue leaders from across the Jewish spectrum was essential in sharing best practices, considering the challenges that face us, and moving our work forward.” He further reflected on the experience, “The communion around this essential part of our Jewish identities was spiritually nourishing when we hunger for inspiration and strength.”

The colloquium participants shared with one another various course syllabi, retreat and seminar outlines, and other reflections on teaching and learning. The event was made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Rabbi Rose and the Miller Center staff are now planning for future gatherings of this kind. Interested parties should contact Rabbi Or Rose at orose@hebrewcollege.edu for more information. 

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Hebrew College, founded in 1921, promotes excellence in Jewish learning and leadership within a pluralistic environment of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement and spiritual creativity. Its programs include a Rabbinical School, a School of Jewish Music, a School of Jewish Education, and graduate degrees and courses in Jewish studies; community education for adult learners; and a supplemental Hebrew high school and middle school. For more information, visit www.hebrewcollege.edu