GTU Insight: April 2017
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April 2017 

In this Issue... 

Enjoy the View with Currents!

The Spring 2017 issue of the GTU’s Currents magazine goes in the mail this week--but you can read the whole issue online right now! Highlights include an essay from our new deanUriah Kim, who celebrates the GTU’s present and shares his vision for its future, plus a reflection on the bridge-building power of spirituality and scholarship from our 2016 alum of the year, Jeffrey Richey. You’ll also get a glimpse of the newly remodeled collaborative learning space in our library, find updates about the Reverberating Echoes exhibition at the Doug Adams Gallery, and learn more about our upcoming interreligious conference on sustainability and the generous donation that’s led to the renaming of our Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Currents is mailed twice a year to all GTU alumni and donors—and you can read past editions online via the GTU website. Make a gift today to support the GTU's important work, and never miss another issue!

Zoloth Named Dean of University of Chicago Divinity School

Congratulations to GTU alum Dr. Laurie Zoloth (PhD, ’93), who has been appointed dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School. Zoloth earned both her master’s in Jewish studies and her doctorate in social ethics from the Graduate Theological Union, and was named GTU alum of the year in 2005. A leading figure in the field of religion and bioethics, Zoloth is a past president of both the American Academy of Religion and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. In “Life Interrupted,” an article written for the GTU during her tenure as president of AAR in 2014, Zoloth encouraged the GTU community and all religious scholars to devote their attention to addressing the critical question of climate change: “As religious scholars, we have obligations that arise from the brokenness of the world,” she wrote. “We must do all we can. To live an interrupted life, to live a life of moral attention, is the first duty of the scholar.” Read the article here, or check out the press release about Dr. Zoloth's appointment.

Student Grants Support Islamic-Jewish Research

Mahjabeen Dhala is among the GTU students awarded grants to support research exploring connections between Islam and Judaism. Dhala, who will graduate with her MA in Islamic Studies from the GTU in May and begin the PhD program in the fall, is pursuing a project entitled “Exploring the Role of Female Activism in Islamic and Jewish Tradition.” Other recipients include CIS student Ahmad Ibrahim Moss for “Imagining an Islamic Liberation Theology in a Post-Truth World,” and group grant recipients Bat Sheva Miller (CJS), Mahjabeen Dhala (CIS) and Jonathan Homrighausen (JST-SCU/GTU) for “Abrahamic Hevruta: Developing Pedagogies of Interfaith Education.” These student grants were made possible by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund's support of Madrasa-Misrasha, a joint program from the Center for Islamic Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies. Congratulations! 

CJS Student and Housemate in the News

GTU student Lea Heitfeld and her housemate, Ben Stern, have been making national headlines lately. Lea is a German-born granddaughter of Nazis who is currently completing her MA in Jewish Studies at the GTU’s Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies. Ben is a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor who opened his Bay Area home to Lea after his wife entered a medical facility. The friendship between these unlikely housemates has been heralded as a story of hope by a number of national and international news outlets in recent weeks, including an article in the Washington Post, a radio segment on Public Radio International, and a video clip on AJ+ (Al Jazeera Media). Additional stories are in the works--we will keep you updated here. Also, check out our article about Lea Heitfeld in Currents, which focuses on her journey to the Center for Jewish Studies and her efforts to improve educational engagement with the history of the Holocaust.

Upcoming Events

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Aesthetics & the Divine: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
Cosponsored by CJS, CIS, and CARe, and featuring Francesco Spagnolo and Carol Bier
Tuesday, April 4, 5:00 pm
Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 LeConte Ave, Berkeley

Norms and Heterodoxies in Jewish Culture
The spring conference from our Center for Jewish Studies. 
Thursday, April 6, 9:00 am
Dinner Board Room, GTU, 2400 Ridge Rd, Berkeley

Muslim Youth and Islamophobia in an Age of Empire: A Canadian Perspective
A lecture with Dr. Jasmin Zine, cosponsored by PSR and CIS
Thursday, April 20, 6 pm reception, 8 pm lecture
Bade Museum, PSR, 1798 Scenic Ave, Berkeley

Islamophobia and the End of Liberalism
The 8th Annual Islamophobia conference, cosponsored by the Center for Islamic Studies
April 21-23
Booth Auditorium, Boalt School of Law, UC Berkeley
From Empathy to the Evolution of Compassion
A CTNS public forum with Dr. Celia Deane-Drummond
April 26, 7:00 pm
Dinner Board Room, GTU, 2400 Ridge Rd, Berkeley
Sustainable Societies: Interreligious, Interdisciplinary Responses
A GTU public conference featuring more than 40 scholars 
April 28-29
Dinner Board Room, GTU, 2400 Ridge Rd.
Register on EventBrite


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