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In our work of building an interreligious society, we know that we extend our reach and increase our effectiveness by collaborating with like-minded organizations. This month we are engaging with two partners who are dedicated to building a better Baltimore.

Next week, we will join with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a powerful program featuring Artistic Advisor James Conlon, who will tell the story of his 30-year quest to rediscover and revive composers whose works were suppressed by the Third Reich. At the end of the month, we will hold a listening session, inviting you to share your thoughts about your interreligious experiences as part of the wide-ranging global consultation that is part of the upcoming Roman Catholic Synod. We are participating at the invitation of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in a collaboration that calls to mind the interreligious consultation that led to the seminal document Nostra Aetate during the Second Vatican Council. 

Partnerships like these are critical as we work to bring about real change. Join us in these interreligious endeavors.




Recovered Voices 101:

A Conversation with BSO Artistic Advisor James Conlon

Thursday, March 10, 2022
 7:00—8:00 PM EST


James Conlon, Artistic Advisor to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, has devoted more than three decades to reviving and performing works of composers silenced by the Third Reich. In this online Special Partnership Event, Mr. Conlon discusses the degenerate policy that led to such moral, historical, and artistic injustice, and his mission to revive and restore the music of composers suppressed by the Nazi regime that has been underperformed, underappreciated, and under recorded for far too long.



An Interreligious Listening Session:
In partnership with the Catholic Synod

Thursday, March 31, 2022
7:00—8:00 PM EST

Nearly 50 years ago, the Vatican engaged in a wide-ranging interreligious consultation in the process of drafting Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Vatican II document that led to historic changes in Jewish-Christian relations. In a similar spirit, ICJS has been asked for input on our work of interreligious engagement to be included in the global conversations that are taking place in the Catholic Church as a preparation for its upcoming historic Synod on Synodality.

We are asking all of you who have participated in ICJS events and courses to contribute your own thoughts and experiences on interreligious engagement at a Listening Session on March 31. Your input will be a valuable contribution to shaping the report we submit to the Catholic bishops conference.




Did you miss our February course on Economic Justice: Interreligious Reflections on Fairness and Dignity? Fear not: you can watch any of the four course videos and review class readings and resources. In addition, we have posted a video of the related online event, Walking the Talk: How 4 Baltimore Leaders Put Principles into Practice. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!



Interreligious Perspectives on the War in Ukraine


From the New York Times:

Launched by President Vladimir V. Putin to reassert Russian influence in the region, the war in Ukraine is also a contest for the future of the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches.

The Russian church has made no secret of its desire to unite the branches under a single patriarch in Moscow, which would allow it to control the holiest sites of Orthodoxy in the Slavic world and millions of believers in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for its part, has been slowly asserting itself under its own patriarch, reviving a separate and independent branch of Eastern Orthodoxy, after the independence of Ukraine in 1991.


If Ukraine prevails against the Russian invasion, the Moscow church will all but certainly be ejected. If Russia wins, the Ukrainian church is unlikely to survive inside Ukraine.

Read more

From Religion Dispatches:

The Enigmatic Role of Antisemitism in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

As noted recently in the New York Times and elsewhere, the Jews of Ukraine have plenty of reason for concern. History has not been kind to the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe: from pogroms to the Holocaust, the memory of historical trauma is very much alive. But as Russia commences a war in Ukraine, history isn’t the only reason for Ukraine’s Jewish community to be afraid. 

A not-so-latent anti-semitism lies at the heart of Putin’s propaganda machine, and appeals to anti-semitic sentiments have been a central theme in the kultur politik advanced by both Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church in the Putin era. For example, whatever sympathy Russia does get from the West relies in no small part on shared anti-semitism and a perception that Russia (and frequently Russian Orthodoxy) are essentially anti-Jewish. This strategy has been on full display with respect to Ukraine. To be clear, there is a certain irony to this, since Putin’s government and Kirill’s patriarchate  have arguably been some of the least openly anti-semitic in Russian history (notably a very low bar), a fact underscored by the support Putin enjoys among Russian Jews.

Read more

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