(JNS.org) The second Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI) Alumni Study Symposium is taking place in Tampa, Fla., from Jan. 30-Feb. 1 on the theme of “Land and Jewish Identity in Israel and North America.” Renowned Christian leaders and scholars will be attending, along with CLI alumni of various Christian denominations and congregations.
The CLI fellowship, co-sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), introduces prominent American Christian leaders to modern Judaism’s ideologies, theology, and practices, as well as the importance of Israel to the global Jewish community. This is accomplished through a 13-month educational program that ends with 10-day seminars at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
This year’s symposium adds to the experience by giving CLI alumni additional knowledge to enable them to better engage with Jewish communities and to participate in richer dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“CLI gathers a unique core group of now 60 Christian scholars and introduces them to classical Jewish text study in the context of modern Israel,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of interreligious and intergroup relations.
“The Alumni Study Symposium is another step toward realizing our dream of a multi-cohort CLI community that will have an indelible positive impact on Christian-Jewish relations," he said.
“The push and pull of the havruta (peer study) experience allows us to learn from each other,” said Dr. Marcie Lenk, co-director of the Hartman Institute's New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel initiative. “We each bring our own expertise, but we rely on each other to expand our own thinking."