2010 - 2011

CSB/SJU Interfaith Days, April 13-16, 2011

The Jay Phillips Center in cooperation with the CSB/SJU Cultural Affairs Board held four days of interfaith events, including the presentation by Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay (see description below).  Other events were a viewing and discussion of the film "Beyond Our Differences," a traditional Hmong dinner accompanied by presentations and conversation about Hmong cultural and religious practices, and a trip to the Hindu Temple in Maple Grove where participants had a tour of the temple, witnessed a religious festival, and enjoyed an Indian meal cooked by members of the temple.

Passover: From Liberation to Freedom 
Lecture by Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay at SJU on April 13, 2011

The Jewish festival of Passover celebrates liberation from slavery and the formation of a covenant that yields true freedom and responsibility.  Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, director of alumni and community engagement for AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, explored how this festival and the biblical story on which it is based can inform our understanding of contemporary social justice issues and inspire people of different faith traditions to build strong and sustainable communities that foster freedom, justice, and peace.

Pursuing Social Justice in a Time of Economic Crisis
Lecture by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at SJU on February 9, 2011

Drawing on Jewish wisdom from biblical to contemporary times, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the director of Ma'aseh: The Center for Jewish Social Justice Education and the author of There Shall be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition (Jewish Lights, 2009), explored how we may ethically respond to some of today's most vexing social and economic issues to create a more just and sustainable American society.

Just Enough: Jewish Ruminations on Food, Faith, and Fairness
Lecture by Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane at SJU on November 15, 2010

By traversing biblical, rabbinical, medieval, and contemporary Jewish thought on eating too little, too much, and just enough, Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane, scholar of bioethics and Jewish thought at Emory University's Center for Ethics, showed how satisfying hunger is not merely a culinary feat but also a theological issue and a matter of justice.

Sin, Repentance, and Divine Forgiveness: A Jewish Approach
Lecture by Louis E. Newman at SJU on November 8, 2010

Drawing on research for his highly acclaimed book Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah (Jewish Lights, 2010), Louis E. Newman, Ph.D., professor of religious studies at Carleton College and one of North America's leading ethicists, explored classical Jewish sources dealing with sin, repentance, and divine forgiveness, and he engaged in an interfaith conversation about these issues.

Sustaining the World: Spirituality and Civic Service
Lecture by Rabbi Will Berkovitz at SJU on October 18, 2010

Rabbi Will Berkovitz, vice president of partnerships and rabbi-in-residence at a national Jewish service organization called Repair the World, explored how we may respond to the traditional Jewish mandate to assist God in sustaining and repairing the world, which, he said, "has taken on new meaning and urgency in our age of widespread environmental degradation and untold human suffering."