In this mini-course, Reuven Firestone will explore the history of Jewish-Muslim relations and investigate the inter-textuality of these two faiths. In the final session, Yossi Klein Halevi will address the state of the Jewish-Muslim dialogue through reflection of his own personal journey.
This mini-course includes three 1-hour presentations
that were recorded from live phone conferences. The session titles appear
below. For each session, Reuven and Yossi selected background readings
and texts - links to the presentations and these materials are available
to registered participants.
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Reuven Firestone is Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam and Director of the Louchheim School of Jewish Studies and the Department of Graduate Studies, HUC-JIR Los Angeles. Prior to joining the HUC-JIR faculty, he taught at Boston University and was Yad Hanadiv Research Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His specialties are early Islam and its relationship with Jews and Judaism, and scriptural interpretation of the Bible and the Qur'an. Reuven was ordained at HUC-JIR and received his PhD from New York University.
His recent books included, Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Order online from Amazon.com) and Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims (New York: Ktav, 2001. Order online from Amazon.com).
Yossi Klein Halevi is a contributing editor and Israel correspondent of the The New Republic, and a senior writer for the Jerusalem Report. He is a regular contributor on Israeli affairs to the Los Angeles Times, and an occasional contributor to the New York Times and the Washington Post. He is a columnist for the New York Jewish Week and the Chicago JUF News.
He is author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for G-d with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land (Published by Morrow, 2001 - order online at Amazon). He is also author of Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist (Little, Brown, 1995 - Amazon), the story of his teenage attraction to Rabbi Meir Kahane and his subsequent break with Jewish militancy.
Active in Mid-East reconciliation efforts, he serves as chairman of Open House, an Arab-Jewish educational project in the working-class town of Ramle. He was a founder and board member of the now-defunct Israeli-Palestinian Media Forum, which brought together journalists from the two sides for seminars and projects related to freedom of the press.
Born and raised in New York, he moved to Israel in 1982. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Sarah, a geneticist, and their three children.