The Jewish Theological Seminary, Islamic Society of North America, and Hartford Seminary to Host Landmark Roundtable on Judaism and Islam in America

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

October 4, 2010, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary, in partnership with the Islamic Society of North America and Hartford Seminary, will host an innovative roundtable discussion, “Judaism and Islam in America Today: Assimilation and Authenticity.” A Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture, the event will take place at JTS (3080 Broadway, at 122nd Street) on Monday, October 25, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Chancellor Arnold M. EisenSherman Jackson

Serene Jones Ingrid Mattson

The participants in the roundtable include Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS; Sherman Jackson, professor of Islam at the University of Michigan; and Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary. The moderator will be Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America and director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary. The panel will discuss the shared challenges faced by Jews and Muslims who live in this country, focusing on the delicate balance between assimilation into a predominantly secular and Christian society and the desire to retain one’s religious and cultural authenticity.

The roundtable discussion, this year’s JTS Rudin Lecture, is the public portion of a two-day workshop that JTS, the Islamic Society of North America, and Hartford Seminary are convening on Judaism and Islam in America. The workshop will also take place at JTS on Monday and Tuesday, October 25 and 26. Attendees will include Jewish and Muslim leaders, scholars, and social scientists. Workshop participants aim to foster constructive dialogue among Jews and Muslims about their experiences as members of minority religions in the United States.

Despite a history of close relationships and religious dialogue spanning more than a millennium, the difficult recent relations between Jews and Muslims have created a degree of mistrust and misunderstanding that many religious and communal leaders are eager to resolve. Both the workshop and public roundtable will offer an opportunity for Jewish, Muslim, and Christian religious leaders to come together and discuss the points of commonality in Jewish and Muslim experience in this country. Participants will also explore ways in which American Jews and Muslims, with all that they share, can work toward better cooperation.

Members of the press are invited to attend the workshop’s closing luncheon on Tuesday, October 26, at 12:30 p.m. At that time, workshop attendees will be available for interviews. (Press and media RSVPs to Eve Glasberg at or [212] 678-8089.)

The Jack and Lewis Rudin Lectures provide the opportunity for eminent academics, religious leaders, intellectuals, and public figures to discuss topics of interest with the JTS community and the public at large.

Admission is free, but reservations are required. To RSVP for this event, please email or call (212) 280-6093.

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation, the Center for Interfaith Understanding, and the Heschel Society.

For more information on the sponsoring institutions, please visit them at the following websites: The Jewish Theological Seminary at, the Islamic Society of North America at, and the Macdonald Center at Hartford Seminary at