HUC-JIR Joins the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation and USC to Form Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

Friday, August 1, 2008

Leaders from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation joined USC College Dean Howard Gillman to pledge their institutions' support to a unique partnership housed in the College's Center for Religion and Civic Culture. 

Steven Windmueller, Dean of HUC-JIR/LA and Dafer Dakhil, President of the Omar Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding to formally establish the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, a collaboration between the three organizations. 

The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement aims to promote dialogue, understanding and grassroots, congregational and academic partnerships among Jewish and Muslim communities. 

The center's initiatives to-date include events promoting interfaith engagement, as well as partnerships to bring Judaic studies to universities in Muslim nations. Future plans call for expanded grassroots collaborations and the online dissemination of scholarly work on the Abrahamic faiths. 

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education, with campuses in Cincinnati, New York, Los Angeles and Jerusalem. HUC-JIR/LA, located across Jefferson Boulevard from the University Park campus, is an active participant in Jewish life at USC, working with the USC Office of Religious Life, USC Hillel, the College's Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life and the Center for Religion and Civic Culture. 

Established in 1982, the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation is dedicated to providing Islamic religious and education services to Muslims and promoting awareness of Islamic social and cultural values. The foundation serves the Los Angeles community, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, by creating educational, religious and cultural programs. 

The Center for Religion and Civic Culture - founded in 1996 with a grant from the James Irvine Foundation - is a research unit of the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. CRCC investigates the civic role of religion and collaborates with congregations, scholars, funders and faith-based organizations. CRCC is a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and innovative partnerships in the community and at the University of Southern California. 

 

(Dafer Dakhil, President of the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation; Howard Gillman, Dean of USC College; and Steven Windmueller, Dean of HUC-JIR/LA, sign a memorandum of understanding to formally establish the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement. Looking on (from left) are Martha Harris of USC, Donald Miller of USC Center, Hebah Farrag of the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement at USC, Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Jewish and Islamic Studies at HUC-JIR, and Brie Loskota of the CRCC.)


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu