With the mandate to assist and enhance the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation’s (CJCUC) relations with the Christian communities in the United States, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin has appointed Rabbi Daniel Sherbill as its U.S. Assistant Director. During his four decades as a pulpit rabbi, Sherbill has chaired multiple interfaith projects including chairing the Inter-Religious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, where he spearheaded the conversation with the Mid East Task Force of the Presbyterian Church USA that halted the divestment campaign against Israel. As a member of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, Rabbi Sherbill led the Global Interfaith and Peace Initiative to Amman and Jerusalem. After 9/11, he produced lesson plans and curricula for Chicago parochial schools on inter-religious learning.
With thousands of Christians each year from the United States visiting CJCUC’s headquarters in Efrat to learn the advancements of Jewish-Christian dialogue as well as the Hebraic roots of Christianity, CJCUC wishes to continue its fellowship with these groups and help to facilitate for more Christians to visit Israel and take part in its educational seminars. “With over a half million Christians from the U.S. visiting Israel each year, it is important for them to know there is a destination where they can engage with Jewish educators and scholars who have a wish to build sincere relationships that are based on biblical principles and values,” remarked CJCUC’s Executive Director David Nekrutman. He added, “Rabbi Sherbill possesses both a scholarly acumen and warm heart to develop long lasting relationships between our faith communities once these groups return home after a transformative moment in Israel.”
Responding to the success of Christian groups taking advantage of the Center’s educational seminars, CJCUC’s Chancellor and Founder Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said that the institution began with just two groups per month in 2008 and now they are hosting over ten. “We owe a great debt of gratitude for getting the word out about CJCUC to the Christian Zionist organizations like the Christians United For Israel, Eagles Wings, Zionist Gate International, the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, Bridges For Peace, Christian Friends of Israel, Christians for Israel as well as Israeli tour companies such as Keshet, Travelujah, Amiel, Sar-El, Tlalim, Twin Tours, Daat Travel, Kenes, Nafatli Tours, Frosch Travel, Lipkin Tours and others,” Riskin said.
“The Jewish Community benefits when we perceive and act upon the values shared with other faith communities to the benefit of the human family,” Sherbill added. “CJCUC is precisely that instrument that can accelerate the redemptive saga of world history.”