P U R P O S E A N D P R O G R A M O F T H E I N S T I T U T EThe Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding of Muhlenberg College, founded in 1989, is a leader in overcoming the tragic history of misunderstanding, antagonism, rejection and distrust that have been the millenia-long saga of Jews and Christians. Emphasizing interpersonal as much as intellectual understanding, the Institute leads clergy and laity, youth and adults, college students and senior citizens, Jews and Christians from many streams of faith toward deeper understanding of one another and of their traditions. The gains of the last half-century cannot be taken for granted. The stumbling blocks have not disappeared, and each generation must confront these negative forces for itself and renew its commitment to overcome them. Learning new models for interacting is our continuing challenge. The Institute embraces both interpersonal and intellectual dimensions in its purpose:
The Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding of Muhlenberg College builds understanding of both the common roots and the diverse expressions of Judaism and Christianity, creating connections among Jews and Christians...
Youth and Prejudice workshops for junior and senior high school students, both on-site and at the college campus, apply lessons from the Shoah (Holocaust) to the realities of 21st-century life.
Interfaith Circles bring Jews and Christians together in the comfort of a living room for regular dialogue on topics ranging from holidays and history to the Bible and beliefs.
The Annual Wallenberg Tribute, a tribute to heroic Shoah rescuer Raoul Wallenberg, honors local leaders in interfaith understanding and features a public address by world-renowned figures.
Lecture series and special forums -- from brown-bag lunches to day-long workshops and multi-session courses -- offer timely opportunities for studying topics of interest to both the Christian and Jewish communities.
Forums, classes and retreats taught by Institute staff and associates cover a wide range of topics for adults and youth. Current topics are available on request and custom programs can be developed in conjunction with your congregation or group.
Initiatives in worship and educational renewal emerge from Institute research programs to make a difference in congregational life locally and on the wider scene. Watch for our journal for preaching in the Jewish-Christian reality.
Clergy colloquy brings together local pastors, priests and rabbis for shared study of texts and topics of mutual interest, while it builds a personal network among interfaith colleagues.
Seasonal workshops offer resources and perspectives for understanding the more difficult texts and traditions that have marred Jewish-Christian relations. Participants take away insights and strategies that help them carry forward their heritage while leaving behind the harmful habits of past generations.
Observances and model services commemorate events like Kristallnacht and teach the patterns of worship and fellowship in each faith community.
The March of Remembrance and Hope offers course credit for interfaith study of the Shoah and its aftermath, with a faculty-led trip to Polish sites of the Shoah and to Israel.
Academic course work and collaboration with partners at Egner Memorial Chapel, Hillel and the Newman Center provide a focus of student learning, commitment and reflection on the relationship of Jews and Christians through history and today.