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February 2023

Big News on Chaplains

There are two important developments in ICJS’ work with chaplains and spiritual caregivers. First, ICJS, in partnership with the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab (CIL) of Brandeis University, just published the results of the first comprehensive survey of chaplains and spiritual caregivers in Maryland in a report, “Chaplains in Maryland: Mapping and Assessing Needs." Among the survey’s findings, chaplains report that they are routinely engaged in interreligious encounters, and are increasingly coming in contact with those unaffiliated with any religious tradition, yet these so-called “nones” still have spiritual needs that require a ministerial response.

The other big news is that we are announcing the launch of the ICJS Chaplaincy Initiative, a program providing support to chaplains and spiritual caregivers in Maryland, especially for those who work in smaller organizations with fewer resources. 

We’re hosting a special event for everyone—not just chaplains—at noon on March 1st to report on the findings of the survey and to discuss the upcoming ICJS Chaplaincy Initiative. We invite you to join us at the event, “Ministry of Presence: A portrait of chaplains in Maryland," to find out more about these important, but underserved, spiritual caregivers.

Highlights in this Issue:


Recognizing & Responding to Everyday Antisemitism & Islamophobia

Join us online for a noontime forum to discuss how we face instances of religious bias and bigotry in our everyday lives that are sometimes subtle and go unnoticed or unconfronted. We’ll include case studies with small group discussion and role play to help you to recognize and respond to these microaggressions.

Thursday, Feb. 16
Online: 7–8:30 PM EST


Holy Envy: Writing in the Jewish Christian Borderzone
A book discussion with author Maeera Shreiber and ICJS Jewish Scholar Ben Sax

Author Maeera Shreiber contends that although recent decades have seen great strides in Christian-Jewish relations, many interreligious encounters have become rote and predictable. Demonstrating how such emotions as shame, envy, and desire can inform these encounters, Shreiber’s book Holy Envy: Writing in the Jewish Christian Borderzone charts a new way of thinking about interreligious relations. By focusing on modern and contemporary writers (novelists and poets) who traffic in the volatile space between Judaism and Christianity, the book calls attention to the creative implications of these intense encounters.

Thursday, March 23
Online: Noon–1:00 PM EST


Interreligious Environmentalism: Our Spiritual Stewardship of the Earth

As people of diverse religious and spiritual traditions, what are our responsibilities, connections, and obligations to environmental stewardship? What wisdom can we draw on from these traditions as we work to heal and preserve the earth? This event includes a discussion by panelists who approach environmentalism from a variety of angles, including advocacy, activism, mental health and theology.


Wednesday, April 19
Online: Noon–1:00 PM EST


Reporting on ICJS' Chaplaincy Survey

ICJS, in partnership with the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab (CIL) of Brandeis University, conducted the first comprehensive survey of chaplains and spiritual caregivers in Maryland, and has published the results in a report, “Chaplains in Maryland: Mapping and Assessing Needs.” Alisha Tatem, ICJS program director for religious leaders, joins her CIL colleague Amy Lawton, to discuss the findings of the chaplain survey, as well as the launch of the ICJS Chaplaincy Initiative, at this online event.

Wednesday, March 1 
Online: Noon–1:00 PM EST

Register and sign up for our email list for chaplains and spirirutal caregivers below.

The Potential Offered by Interfaith Collaboration
By Jane Ambrose, 2022 ICJS Congregational Leader Fellow

Jane has built interreligous community through service here in Baltimore as well as in New York and Connecticut. Collective responsibility motivates her and others to come together and do good for others.

Read More


An Artistic Rendering of my Sacred Objects
By Mark Schenerman, 2022 ICJS Congregational Leaders Fellow

Mark painted his most sacred books and objects (see above image). Here, he documents his inspiration, which goes back to his Bar Mitzvah, and his artistic process.

Read More


Spotlight | Heather Miller Rubens Returns

Heather Miller Rubens, executive director and Roman Catholic scholar, has returned to the ICJS office following her research leave as a visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary. She completed significant research and began writing her book advancing ICJS’ vision of the interreligious society. She also led two workshops of a book chapter— one at Princeton University and one at Princeton Theological Seminary. She will continue work on completing the book in the coming months, while resuming her duties as executive director. 


Faces of ICJS | Rabbi Emily Stern

Rabbi Emily Stern calls her found connection to ICJS “the most beautiful love story.” As a Rabbinical student at the Alliance for Jewish Renewal (ALEPH) Ordination Program, she learned about ICJS from a chance encounter with a friend. A week later she was a student at the ICJS Emerging Religious Leaders Intensive. 


Recap | White Christian Nationalism and the Capitol Riot: How did we get here and what comes next?

Brad Onishi, author of the newly published book Preparing for War on the Capitol riot, offered advice on how to converse with people in the extremist Christian nationalist circles. "This is hard work...But if there's a chance, in the peace tradition you work in, to have a conversation with one person...then there's a chance that all of the hate and reduction of the United States...gets chipped away and chipped away and chipped away." Watch the full clip or a recording of the entire event

Staff Pick | Muslim Activists Misunderstand Islam

Fatimah Fanusie, program director for justice leaders, recommends this Foreign Policy magazine article that provides context to the controversy over the display of the image of Prophet Mohammed in a class at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.


About Us 

The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) works to dismantle religious bias and bigotry to foster an interreligious society in which dialogue replaces division, friendship overcomes fear, and education eradicates ignorance. Through courses, fellowships, online events, and scholarship initiatives, ICJS builds learning communities where religious difference becomes a powerful force for good. ICJS is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization.


Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies
956 Dulaney Valley Rd  | Baltimore, Maryland 21204
410.494.7161 | info@icjs.org | icjs.org

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