Newsletter 2020 - 2021 - Page 15

Mosaic Religion and the Religious Mosaic


AJR ’ s recent accreditation through the Association for Theological Schools ( ATS ) opens exciting new pathways for AJR to have a more widespread impact on interfaith contexts . Supported by a generous nearly $ 50,000 Pathway for Tomorrow Initiative grant from Lilly Endowment , in summer 2021 AJR launched its project “ Mosaic Religion and the Religious Mosaic : An Approach to the Jewish Community for Christian Seminarians ” to prepare pastors and congregational lay ministers to better participate in thoughtful interfaith work with the Jewish community . Responding to growing antisemitism in America , this project offers a crucial step towards building lasting bridges between our respective communities .
Recent months have demonstrated that many Americans cannot escape their own political and religious silos when engaging with others . One expression of this disconnectedness is the significant rise in antisemitism in America . In response , some Christian clergy have seen it as part of their sacred mission not only to preach empathy , but , more fundamentally , to model interpersonal interaction grounded in sensitivity to the plight of the other . In order for pastors and ministers to effectively combat the challenges raised by social divisiveness , those called to Christian ministry must familiarize themselves with those outside of their own fold in capable of leading their communities to confront the reality of an increasingly interconnected yet divided society .
AJR is uniquely poised to partner with a variety of Christian seminaries to share knowledge of the diversity of Jewish life with Christian seminarians . Through our Mosaic Religion and the Religious Mosaic project AJR plans to expose Christian clergy to the diversity and nuances of the North American Jewish community , sensitize Christian clergy to distinctly Jewish spiritual needs , and building bridges through joint study of sacred texts .
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