Winter Week of Learning
Judaism and Christianity
Monday, December 25 – Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Jews and Christians have lived together for 2000 years, through theological tension, cooperation, polemics, and violence. In classes led by world-renowned scholars, we will look at aspects of this history. What does the Talmud say about Jesus? Were talmudic stories told by rabbis different from stories told by monks? How did each community read the Bible, and did their readings affect the other? What were the theological issues that defined each group’s identity in antiquity and in the Middle Ages? And how different are the two religions? Are there commonalities to be found between the kabbalistic and Hasidic traditions and Christianity? What is Jewish-Christian dialogue about?
These are some of the questions to be explored in this three-day program.
Click here to register for the full three-day program.
You may register for individual sessions (coming soon). Sessions will run each day from 10 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 4.
Michal Bar-Asher Siegal is a scholar of rabbinic Judaism. Her work focuses on aspects of Jewish-Christian interactions in the ancient world, and compares between Early Christian and rabbinic sources. Her book, Early Christian Monastic Literature and the Babylonian Talmud (Cambridge University Press, 2013, winner of the 2014 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award) compared between Christian monastic and rabbinic sources. Her upcoming book Jewish – Christian Dialogues on Scripture in Late Antiquity: Heretics Narratives of the Babylonian Talmud, will focus on heretics’ stories in the Babylonian Talmud. She is an elected member of the Israel Young Academy of Sciences and holds the Rosen Family Career Development Chair in Judaic Studies at The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Eitan Fishbane serves on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he teaches students in the Rabbinical, Graduate, and Undergraduate schools. A scholar of Jewish mysticism and spirituality, he is the author of three books, including As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist, on the mystical thought of Isaac ben Samuel of Akko, and the forthcoming The Poetics of the Zohar; the editor of two others, and the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Professor Fishbane has lectured and taught at more than thirty synagogues across North America.
Chaviva Levin received her doctorate in Jewish studies and history from New York University and holds bachelors and masters degrees from Yeshiva University. She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program. Her research interests center on the experiences of Medieval Ashkenazic (Northern European) Jewry and on Medieval Jewish-Christian relations, with specific focus on her dissertation topic, Jewish conversion to Christianity in Medieval Northern Europe, and on medieval Jewish historiography. Her current work concentrates on Sefer Zekhira, Ephraim of Bonn’s twelfth-century Hebrew narrative of the Second Crusade. She is a member of the steering committee for the “Study of Religious Conversions” Consultation at the American Academy of Religion and is a 2010-2011 adjunct fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to giving papers at scholarly conferences, she has presented on topics related to the medieval Jewish experience to synagogue and other adult education audiences throughout the tri-state area.
Rori Picker Neiss serves as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St Louis. Prior to that she was the Director of Programming, Education and Community Engagement at Bais Abraham Congregation, a Modern Orthodox Jewish synagogue in University City, MO. She is one of the first graduates of Yeshivat Maharat, a pioneering institution training Orthodox Jewish women to be spiritual leaders and halakhic (Jewish legal) authorities. She previously served as Acting Executive Director for Religions for Peace-USA, Program Coordinator for the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Assistant Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, and Secretariat for the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, the formal Jewish representative in international, interreligious dialogue. Rori is the co-chair of the North American Interfaith Youth Network of Religions for Peace, a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders fellow, and co-editor of “InterActive Faith: The Essential Interreligious Community-Building Handbook.” She is married to Russel Neiss, a Software Engineer for Sefaria, and they have two daughters and a son: Daria, Susanna, and Shmaya.