Newsletter – September 2016

1. Interfaith, Building Community. Compassion in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Contributed by Rozemarijn Vanwijnsberghe, I.T.OUCH’ – www.itouchalameda.com

Elijah Interfaith Institute participated in a summer school program on “Interfaith, building community” for youth leaders organized by I.T.OUCH. It was a moment of special gratification for Elijah staff, inasmuch as the entire seminar was in some way a fruit of the summer school on Religious Genius, that took place in Israel last year. One of Elijah’s students runs I.T.Touch, an interfaith organization growing out of the Teresian Association based in Brussels, with broad European reach, and incorporated Elijah’s methodology and its emphasis on Religious Genius in the curriculum of the summer school. The summer school took place in Perugia, Italy from August 17-24.

2. Elijah Mourns the Passing Away of Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen

Elijah mourns the passing away of Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, a founding member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders.
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein posted the following to his blog, in loving memory of Rabbi Cohen.

3. Judaism and Eastern Religions — Diplomatic Success and Theological Challenges

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, together with the American Jewish Committee and the Council of World Religious Leaders, hosted a high-level delegation of leaders from Eastern Religions. The head of the Sikh faith was there. Alon Goshen-Gottstein draws lessons from his participation at this high-level meeting, and reflects on the theological challenges of interfaith dialogue

4. Sharing Wisdom

The Sharing Wisdom section of our newsletter is comprised of the wisdom of Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen.

On Leadership:
To be an effective spiritual leader in this generation the rabbi must possess three qualities: the ability to enlighten and to make oneself heard and warmth of spirit.”
June 1975, the year Rabbi Cohen was appointed Chief Rabbi of Haifa

On Jewish-Christian relationships:
“There is a long, hard and painful history of the relationship between our people, our faith, and the Catholic Church leadership and followers — a history of blood and tears, I deeply feel that my standing here before you is very meaningful. (…) It brings with it a signal of hope and a message of love, co-existence, and peace for our generation, and for generations to come.”
Addressing the Synod of Bishops, Rome, October 6, 2015

On Sacred Texts:
“We pray God using his own words, as related to us in the Scriptures. Likewise, we praise him — also using his own words from the Bible. (…) We ask for his mercy — mentioning what he has promised to our ancestors and to us. (…) Our point of departure stems from the treasures of our religious tradition, even while we endeavor to speak in a modern and contemporary language and address present issues.” Cohen said: “It is amazing to observe how the Holy Scriptures never lose their vitality and relevance to present issues of our time and age. This is the miracle of the everlasting and perpetual word of God.”
Explaining the role of Scripture in the Jewish faith, October 6, 2015

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