Israeli Scholar to Discuss Christian Defender of Jews

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

February 6, 2007, New York, NY

Dr. Haim Chertok of Ben–Gurion University of the Negev in Israel will discuss "Rev. James Parkes: Zionist, Guernseyman, Defender of the Jews," from 3:30–5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City.

The event is being sponsored by The Louis Finkelstein Institute of Social and Religious Studies at JTS, which provides a venue to advance dialogue at the intersection of religion and public affairs.

The repudiation of anti–Semitism by mainline churches since Nostra Aetate, the historic 1965 document that launched a rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, owes a great deal to Rev. Parkes, a clergyman and historian whose personal mission was to remove this prejudice from Christianity. His 1934 book, The Conflict Between the Church and the Synagogue, was years ahead of theological trends and affirmed the validity of Judaism as a covenantal faith. His passion was all the more remarkable given he grew up on the Island of Guernsey where there was no Jewish community.

Born in the Bronx, Dr. Chertok earned degrees at Fordham University and at the University of Pennsylvania. After military service in the Far East, in 1966 he was appointed Director of Bensalem, the Experimental College of Fordham University. Throughout the 1960s he was an antiwar activist, and before immigrating to Israel in 1976, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley; University of the Pacific; University of Maryland; and Fordham. He has published five books, one of which was awarded the National Jewish Book Award (Stealing Home,1989). His articles have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, the New York Times, Granta, Judaism, Midstream, Commentary, Tikkun, American Jewish Congress Monthly, and many other journals. His current book is He Also Spoke as a Jew: The Life of James Parkes (London: Vallentine Mitchell).

Admission is free; photo ID is required. For more information and to RSVP, please call (212) 280-6093.

Editors/Reporters: To attend the lecture or to schedule an interview with Dr. Chertok, please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953; or email.

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