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Aron Hirt-Manheimer

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Books on a shelf with different titles on the spines: Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddism, Protestantism

A conversation with Rabbi A. James Rudin, former head of the American Jewish Committee’s Department of Interreligious Affairs and author of seven books, most recently, Pillar of Fire: A Biography of Stephen S. Wise.  

ReformJudaism.org: When did interfaith relations first become a priority of Reform Judaism?

It was in Reform Judaism’s “DNA” from the very beginning. In 1801, Israel Jacobson established an innovative religious school in Sessen, Germany that included 40 Jewish and 20 Christian students. His “mixed” student policy reflected his hopes, at the dawn of the so-called...

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Closeup of a red apple hanging from a tree

Bruce Feiler has written six consecutive bestsellers, including Walking the Bible (which became a PBS series) and The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More. His latest book is The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us.

ReformJudaism.org: What compelled you to traverse four continents and 4,000 years to explore the Bible’s first couple?

I have spent most of the last 20 years thinking about the Hebrew Bible, focusing on the importance of land and its relationship to religious identity. I now...

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French candidate Emmanuel Macron against a blue background

Stéphane Beder is the president of the Assemblee du Judaisme Liberal, vice chairman of the European Union for Progressive Judaism, and senior vice chairman of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. We spoke with him as France heads for the upcoming parliamentary elections on June 11 and 18.

ReformJudaism.org: It was reported that 90% of Jews voted for Emmanuel Macron and 10% for Marie Le Pen. What do these numbers say about the politics of the Jews of France?

Stéphane Beder: In France, conducting election polls based on religious affiliation is illegal, so we do not have...

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Three seperate tiles on an adobe wall representing three religions: Islam, Judaism, Christianity

Imam Abdullah Antepli is Duke University’s Muslim chaplain and senior fellow on Jewish Muslim Relations at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. I sat down with the Turkish-born cleric to hear the story of his remarkable odyssey from anti-Semite to passionate Jewish-Muslim bridge builder.

ReformJudaism.org: When did you first become aware of Jews and Judaism?

In the 1980s, when I was eight or nine years old, I watched on television an Israeli soldier breaking the arm of a Palestinian stone thrower. That image was my initial introduction to Jews, Judaism, and...

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Old gravestone with Hebrew lettering

“I knew your father, of blessed memory, in Bendin,” the elderly man informed me in the midst of a bar mitzvah party. “I was there recently,” he continued, “and saw the building next to the railroad station on Malachowska Street where the Manheimers lived before the war. Are you planning to visit Poland anytime soon?”

“Maybe I’ll go there someday,” I said, not wanting to disappoint him. I asked him for a map and he drew one on the back of his business card. It was still in my wallet, when I received an invitation several weeks later to join a Jewish press tour to Poland.

The...

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