Scholar, Advisor and Author Discusses Jewish-Muslim Relations at University Lecture

Oct 14, 2015

Burton L. Visotzky, Ph.D., Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will deliver a lecture titled “What Can We Say About Jewish-Muslim Relations in America?” at The University of Scranton on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Sponsored by the University’s Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute, the lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Rabbi Visotzky also serves the JTS, located in New York City, as the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies and as director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue. Since joining the JTS faculty upon his ordination as rabbi in 1977, he was dean of its graduate school and founding rabbi of the egalitarian worship service of the Seminary Synagogue.

A former visiting professor at Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton universities and the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow, Rabbi Visotzky served as the Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he met Pope Benedict. He recently served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, where he met Pope Francis.

Rabbi Visotzky is a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust; the Roundtable of Religious and Faith Based Organization Leaders advising World Bank President Jim Yong Kim; the Council on Foreign Relations; and the interreligious planning committee to combat hate speech and incitement for the United Nations Special Advisor to Prevent Genocide.

Rabbi Visotzky, who participates in interreligious engagement in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, was the winner of the 2012 Goldziher Prize, awarded biennially by Merrimack College for work in Jewish-Muslim relations.

The author of 10 books and more than 120 articles and reviews, Rabbi Visotzky’s works have been published in the U.S., Europe and Israel. Regularly featured on radio, television and in print, he has been named to “The Forward 50” and repeatedly to the Newsweek/Daily Beast list of “The 50 Most Influential Jews in America.”

The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute, created in 1979 through an endowment funded by the local Jewish community, fosters a better understanding and appreciation of Judaism, Israel and their histories. It supports visits to the University by Jewish scholars and writers as well as library acquisitions, publications, faculty research travel and other scholarly endeavors. A $1 million gift from Harry Weinberg in 1990 further enhanced the institute’s work.

For more information, contact Marc Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of theology/religious studies at The University of Scranton, at 570-941-7956.


Who: Burton L. Visotzky

What: “What Can We Say About Jewish-Muslim Relations in America?” Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute Lecture

When: 7:30 p.m., Nov. 3

Where: Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall, University of Scranton

Cost: Free

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