Our Ongoing Mission

Dr. Heather Miller Rubens

Through education and engagement around religious difference the ICJS resolves to confront fear, prejudice, and violence directed against Muslims, Jews, and other minorities in America. 


The mission of the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) is to build learning communities where religious difference becomes a powerful force for good.

To fully live out our mission:

1) The ICJS resolves to confront Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious prejudice, in our city, in our state, and in our country.

Confronting religious prejudice requires naming the stereotypes that foster contempt for entire groups of people. Confronting Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, and religious prejudice demands understanding the difficult histories of those hatreds. Confronting religious prejudice acknowledges that sexism, racism, and xenophobia intersect and inform religious prejudices in complex ways. As an educational organization, the ICJS commits to building learning communities that empower participants to stand confidently against religious intolerance and bigotry.

2) The ICJS resolves to publicly defend the religious freedoms of all Americans and the importance of diversity in the public square.

Religious freedom is a founding ideal of our nation and a guiding principle of the ICJS. Vigilance is required to defend this noble ideal. In a democracy committed to religious freedom, people should enter the public square equipped with accurate information, critical thinking skills, and respect for those who hold different ethical and religious commitments. Religious literacy and interreligious education are essential to preserving the integrity of this national ideal.

3) The ICJS resolves to bring people together to learn and build relationships across religious difference.

The ICJS offers sustained opportunities for people to engage with experts, and with one another, in a welcoming environment. In an increasingly polarized society, it is essential for people of different faith traditions and ethical commitments to come together to question, to discuss, and to learn in order to maintain the highest ideals of our democracy.

Join us.

January 30, 2017