OPEN DOORS, OPEN MINDS: SYNAGOGUES AND CHURCHES STUDYING TOGETHER A 67th Biennial Initiative
During the past several years most of us have been exposed to more anti-Semitic discourse than we have encountered in our entire lives. We find it today in right-wing nationalism and left-wing anti-globalism, in radical Islam and reactionary forms of Christianity. In the 1950s and 60s, Reform Judaism was at the forefront of interreligious dialogue in North America. But in recent decades, interfaith work has declined precipitously; in many communities, little survives beyond Thanksgiving services and model seders.
We can no longer afford relations that barely exist. The Union has joined with four Christian denominations in calling for dialogue and has prepared the Open Doors, Open Minds curriculum. Congregations are asked to join with a church in the community and commit to seven sessions at which adult learners will come together to learn about common aspects of our history and about critical distinctions; to engage in joint study of sacred texts; and to participate in a structured conversation concerning Israel and the Middle East conflict.
We are pleased to announce Open Doors, Open Minds II. Expanding and deepening the relationships established in the first program, this new curriculum addresses social justice issues from a religious perspective. By focusing on shared values and a commitment to making the world a better place, participants will gain a new understanding of both their own and one another's religious tradition.
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Click here for the press release about the program.
Open Doors, Open Minds I makes extensive use of a new video series -- Walking God's Paths-- produced by the Reform and Conservative Movements (through the National Council of Synagogues) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The video/DVD may be purchased from the URJ Press at www.urjpress.com, 212.650.4120.