The comprehensive, year-long Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI) study program, run in partnership with AJC, introduces prominent Christian leaders and change agents from North America to the central ideas of Jewish ethics and faith, the diverse ideologies and practices of contemporary Jewry, the meaning of Israel for world Jewry, foundations of religious pluralism, and interreligious study.
CLI fellows represent an ecumenical cross section of elite Christian denominational and institutional leadership in North America, including clergy and laity from academic institutions and religious organizations, parishes, and dioceses.
The curriculum, uniquely shaped for Christian leaders, focuses on central ideas of Judaism in the areas of ethics, faith, and politics, canonical Jewish texts, the challenges of modernity and the State of Israel, diverse ideologies and religious practices of contemporary world Jewry, intellectual foundations of religious pluralism and interreligious studies, and practical methods for Christian engagement with Jews.
The program, conducted over 13 months, comprises year-round long-distance learning and two 10-day seminars held in Jerusalem in consecutive summers. The Jerusalem seminars enable fellows to encounter Jewish life in Israel and facilitates encounters with Israelis of different backgrounds who represent diversity and challenges inherent in modern Judaism.
The long-distance component consists of interactive study sessions facilitated by Shalom Hartman Institute scholars via videoconference, which allows participants to continue their learning about Judaism and Israel in a sustained manner while pursuing their ministries and studies in their home communities.
Participants selected for the Christian Leadership Initiative receive a full fellowship for the program that includes travel and lodging.