Friendship and Interfaith Engagement 

Date: Nov 13, 2023

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Sponsor: Online Learning | Public Lectures and Events

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning Public Lectures & Events Two Are Better Than One

Friendship and Interfaith Engagement 

November 13, 2023
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

Part of our fall learning series, “Two Are Better Than One:” Friendship in Jewish Text, Thought, and Life 

This session is generously sponsored by Temple Israel of Albany.

With Dr. Benedicte Sere, Visiting Professor, JTS, and Associate Professor of Medieval History, University of Paris Nanterre, Member of the Institut Universitaire de France 

In a world where religious differences have often been a source of division, the concept of friendship emerges as a powerful tool for forging connections, fostering receptiveness to others, and nurturing understanding. Beginning with a discussion of Aristotle’s friendship, followed by several case studies, we will investigate how friendship has been actualized and experienced throughout history within the context of interfaith dialogue. We will also consider to what extent an ambivalence about friendship exists in Jewish-Christian relations from the Middle Ages up to the present day. 

If you have previously registered for another session in this series, “Two Are Better Than One:” Friendship in Jewish Text, Thought, and Life, your registration admits you to all sessions in the series, and you may attend as many as you’d like.


“Two Are Better Than One:” Friendship in Jewish Text, Thought, and Life 

Friendship is a critical component of our daily lives, our mental health, and our Jewish communal experiences. Ecclesiastes (4:9) posits, “Two are better than one,” underscoring the significance of companionship and partnership in Jewish tradition and the role they play in a life well-lived.  

In this series, JTS scholars will explore the concept of friendship through Jewish texts, history, and thought. They will examine a range of paradigms for friendship and consider what values emerge from each. Together, we will reflect on friendship in times of joy and times of crisis, both with those in our inner circles and with our neighbors and fellow citizens more broadly.