Join us for fall 2017 programming

Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies Public Programs Fall 2017. We hope you will join us. 

Registration is required for most programming. Registration will open approximately one month before each program. Download a PDF of the autumn 2017 program roster here.

From matzo ball soup to avocado toast: Making sense of Judaism in America today 

A three session mini course taught by Dr. Benjamin Sax, the ICJS Jewish Scholar. Register for either the morning course or the evening course online:

Judaism is no longer exclusively defined by an adherence to one set of behaviors and beliefs. This isn’t your grandma’s Judaism. How can multiple generations of Jews understand different ideas of what it means to be Jewish? This course examines Judaism in a world where contemporary American identities are mixed and where political and cultural allegiances are more voluntary than inherited.

Morning course:
When: Tuesday, September 19; Tuesday, September 26; and Wednesday, October 4 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Where: ICJS (956 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204)
Registration: Closed
Cost: $25

Evening course:
Tuesday, September 19; Tuesday, September 26; and Tuesday, October 3 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Where: Repair the World (3700 Eastern Ave, Baltimore MD 21224)
Registration: Closed
Cost: $25


Religious communities under attack: What can you do to end hate in Baltimore?

What do we do when religious communities are under attack? In the past months, Anti-Semitic incidents have increased. FBI data reveals anti-Muslim assaults have reached 9/11-era levels. Churches that publicly decry hate have been threatened and vandalized. This program will explore ways that we, in our religious communities, can confront and challenge these trends. We must get to know our neighbors and build interreligious networks if we are going to be successful. In partnership with the Jewish Museum of Maryland, we invite you to join us for a community discussion with Baltimore religious leaders.

When: Thursday, October 19 from 7:00-8:30 pm
Where: Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd St, Baltimore, MD 21202)
Registration: Closed
Cost: Free


Stories of Flannery O’Connor & Philip Roth: Jewish & Christian identity in the American imagination 

A three session mini course taught by Dr. Christopher Leighton, the ICJS Protestant Scholar.

Flannery O’Connor and Philip Roth have crafted literary gems that capture the complexity of being either a Christian or a Jew within the context of American culture. Each uses humor to jolt readers out of their complacency and to demonstrate the unresolved conflicts that Jews and Christians face as they strive to fit into their largely secular surroundings. In this mini course, we will juxtapose stories of O’Connor with stories by Roth. Together we will assess what these stories reveal about our circumstances past and present. We will consider how each of these authors challenges our own efforts to find a religious home.

When: Tuesday, October 24; Tuesday, October 31; and Tuesday, November 7 from 1:00-3:00 pm
Where: ICJS (956 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204)
Cost: $25


American Anti-Semitism on the rise: An evening with Ira Forman

What are the challenges associated with twenty-first century Anti-Semitism in America? What can we do combat Anti- Semitism in the digital age? Has the contemporary European brand of Anti-Semitism penetrated American communities? 

Please join us for an evening with Ira Forman, the former Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism at the U.S. State Department, to explore the various ways Anti-Semitism emerges today and to discuss ways we can challenge and combat it.

As Special Envoy, Forman developed and implemented policies and projects supporting Jewish communities in the U.S. and abroad. Previously, Forman served as the  Jewish Outreach Director for the Obama for America  campaign and as the Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Forman speaks and writes extensively on Jewish history and public policy. He co- edited and wrote for the reference book, Jews In American Politics. Forman received his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.B.A from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. 

When: Tuesday, December 5 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Where: Chizuk Amuno Synagogue (8100 Stevenson Rd, Pikesville, MD 21208)
Cost: Free

Download a PDF of the autumn 2017 program roster here.