Sundays, March 17 & April 14 | Congregation Beth El, Berkeley | Register here

UNDERSTANDING MUSLIM NEIGHBORS is an intensive, in-depth seminar for Jews who want to build bridges of understanding and respect with Muslims. Over two full days of lectures from a world-class rabbinic expert on Islam, this seminar navigates through a maze of conflicting information and stereotypes to equip Jews with the knowledge and tools to better understand and collaborate with Muslims in tikkun olam.

Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Register here

Part I: Understanding Muslims

• What Muslims really believe about God, Torah, and Jews*
 Expressions of Judaism that Muslims appreciate most*
• Muslim sensitivities every Jew should know*
• Common ground and differences between Muslims and Jews
• Arabs and Muslims in Jewish teachings
• Muhammad’s relationship with Jews
• Understanding the Qur’an and Hadith
• Islamic spirituality and Jewish parallels
• Islamic law, states, and traditions
• Islamic holy days and ritual
Sunday, April 14, 2019 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Part II: Responding to Muslims
• Implications of the Qur’an for Jews
• Multiple monotheisms?
• Covenant and “Chosenness” in Islam
• Agreement and Disagreement between Jews and Muslims
• Kosher and halal
• Muslim prayer and clergy
• Islamic faith and Muhammad’s Prophethood
• Muslims, mission, and jihad
• What the Qur’an really says about Jews
• Jihad, Israel, and Palestine
• Muslim views of The Holocaust

Part III: Studying Scripture with Muslims

• Navigating sacred vocabulary

• Pitfalls to avoid
• Abraham and Isaac in the Qur’an
• Cain and Abel in the Qur’an
• Jewish and Muslim interpretive approaches
• “Hot button” issues for Jews and for Muslims
Seminar notebook, kosher lunch and refreshments included.

* If you attended Prof. Firestone’s lectures at the JCC East Bay on Oct. 28, 2018 and would rather not review this material again, you may opt to skip this introduction on 3/17 and arrive at 11:15 AM.