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This rabbinical faculty is shifting right into a Catholic college


(RNS) — The Academy for Jewish Faith California has rented house in numerous places all the way through its 21-year lifestyles as a transdenominational seminary that trains rabbis and cantors.

For some time it used to be housed in an administrative center development in downtown Los Angeles, then at Hillel, the Jewish campus group on the College of California Los Angeles.

However starting Oct. 1, in an association each novel and pathbreaking, the academy will transfer to Loyola Marymount College, a non-public Catholic faculty based through the Jesuit and Marymount orders.

The transfer isn’t simply envisioned as a apartment contract for 3 workplaces and 4 school rooms, regardless that a three-year hire has been signed. The speculation is to permit for some joint categories in addition to different collaborations. LMU scholars in theology may take a Hebrew elegance on the academy, whilst academy scholars may take an non-obligatory within the New Testomony via LMU’s theology division. (LMU does no longer have a seminary.)

Down the street, a joint stage in interfaith members of the family or a middle for interfaith working out, or each, are being thought to be.

“We’ve solely begun to believe in combination,” mentioned Robbin D. Crabtree, dean of LMU’s Bellarmine Faculty of Liberal Arts.

Categories this semester are online-only for the rabbinical faculty, however scholars are anticipated to be in particular person starting in January.

Rabbi Mel Gottlieb. Courtesy picture

Theological colleges of all faiths had been underneath expanding power to consolidate, merge or shut, as enrollments decline and institutional strengthen shrinks. However few have taken up interfaith collaborations. Because of this, the partnership between a rabbinical faculty and a Catholic college will be intently watched.

“There used to be a realistic want and a philosophical proximity,” mentioned Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, president of the Academy for Jewish Faith California.

“We’ve a program that has a powerful dedication to finding out about all religions at a time in our tradition when there’s numerous strife,” he added. “The Jesuits have a dedication to social motion. We felt there used to be an affinity there.”


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Since 2008, LMU has had a Jewish research minor for undergraduates that enrolls as much as 30 scholars each and every yr. For greater than a decade, the college has seen two annual commemorations, one for Kristallnacht, the 1938 assault wherein Germany’s Nazi Birthday celebration torched synagogues and vandalized Jewish companies and houses, and one for Yom HaShoah, an afternoon of remembrance for the 6 million who died within the Holocaust. The college additionally runs a per month Jewish ebook membership.

Handiest about part of LMU’s 6,500 scholars are Catholic; its Jewish scholars include between 2% and four% of the scholar frame.

“Our instructional choices and pupil existence programming all presume spiritual plurality and price interfaith paintings and the non secular building of all of our scholars — even the so-called nones, who’re continuously nonetheless non secular seekers even with out formal spiritual affiliations,” mentioned Crabtree.

The primary direction to be cross-listed between the college and the academy will probably be a category on Jewish adaptation and resilience deliberate for 2022, mentioned Holli Levitsky, director of the Jewish Research Program at LMU.

The academy is considered one of 3 rabbinical colleges in California. It has graduated 190 rabbis, cantors and chaplains. The academy additionally gives a grasp’s stage in Jewish research.

Amongst its graduates are Rabbi Susan Goldberg, who leads Nefesh, an unbiased Los Angeles synagogue, and Rabbi Lori Shapiro, founding father of Open Temple, a transdenominational congregation in Venice, California.

“The Academy for Jewish Faith may be very involved in how you can get ready our rabbis to develop the tent so we usher in Jews who’re unaffiliated,” mentioned Marlene Canter, who chairs the academy’s board of administrators. “There’s numerous the similar factor taking place in Catholicism. There are numerous other folks involved in interfaith dynamics. How will we create a extra loving, kinder global via our religions?”

The Rev. Allan Figueroa Deck, a Jesuit priest who serves at the committee that licensed the academy’s transfer to the college, mentioned LMU has a long-standing courting with the bigger Los Angeles Jewish neighborhood, the second-largest within the U.S. after New York. That historical past stretches again to the Thirties, when its regulation faculty started admitting Jews at a time when different regulation colleges didn’t.

Within the Nineteen Fifties, LMU began the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Family members, named after the well-known Jewish attorney who helped dissolve the Hollywood blacklist that denied employment to those who have been believed to be Communists or sympathizers.

“We’re inspired to foment members of the family with all religions,” Deck mentioned on behalf of the college. “However we’ve a unique hobby in our courting with the Jewish other folks as a result of the connection of the Jewish faith and the foundational function it performs within the building of Christianity.”


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