Friendship and Interfaith Engagement 

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Nov 13, 2023 / 5784 | Friendship in Jewish Text and Tradition Monday Webinar | Interreligious

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

This session was generously sponsored by Temple Israel of Albany.

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 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.

About the Series

“Two Are Better Than One:” Friendship in Jewish Text and Tradition  

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. Join JTS faculty to explore the concept of friendship through Jewish texts, history, and thought. They will consider 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.  We also consider some important paradigms for friendship and discuss the values we can distill from these models of friendship