Local Man Tapped for Interfaith Post

September 7, 2007

Author: Abigail Klein Leichman

Source: New Jersey Jewish Standard


TEANECK – As township resident Alan Brill takes his post as Seton Hall University’s new point man for the betterment of Jewish-Catholic relations, a question begs to be asked: But is it good for the Jews?

Of course, says Brill, a 46-year-old Orthodox rabbi with a doctorate in Jewish mysticism from another Catholic institution, the Jesuit-run Fordham University. "This is important because the definition of ‘Jewish community’ should not be just inwardly focused," he says, adding that interfaith outreach "is a major way to define Judaism in a broader, outwardly expansive way and show how we can contribute and what we can do."

It’s also good for the Jews, he continues, "because on a local level people are just beginning to wake up to the religious diversity around us. We have a tendency to see America as secular. It’s actually a new religious America. And just as Jews have found new ways to redefine their identities using traditional religious terms, so have our Christian neighbors. A lot of contact is now occurring among people of faith."

See also: Interfaith, Civic, Campus