The Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies (ICJS) is a non-profit organization that concentrates its educational expertise on the dual tasks of disarming religious hatred and establishing new models of interfaith understanding.
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Founded in 1987 in Baltimore, Maryland, by an interfaith group of clergy and lay leaders, the ICJS emerged out of the conviction that centuries of religious ignorance, fear, and hostility could be disarmed through deliberate, interfaith study and conversation. The ICJS is one of the few free-standing interfaith organizations in the country unaffiliated with a university or specific religious denomination.
Over the past twenty-five years, the ICJS has developed and offered over eighty-five distinctive educational programs for clergy, religious educators, college students, business and community leaders, and the general public. These programs explore, among other topics, the roots of intolerance and violence within our religious traditions and develop the educational resources to neutralize these dangerous habits. In addition to confronting the anti-Semitic dispositions enshrined within the Christian community, the ICJS has increasingly directed its attention to the larger context of religious pluralism, including the complex challenges of Islam.
The ICJS works in conjunction with many educational and cultural organizations in order to examine the pivotal role that religion plays in the world today. These partnerships enable the ICJS to reach diverse audiences and to address the tangled interplay of religion and public policy, religion and the law, religion and medical ethics, religion and higher education, and religion and the arts. Not only does the ICJS reach a diverse cross-section of the Maryland population, it oversees and coordinates ongoing educational initiatives with congregations in Atlanta, and is currently developing programs to engage universities, seminaries, and congregations in the Greater Washington area.
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The ICJS is celebrating its 25th anniversary.