Karen Armstrong, one of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs, has written more than 20 books on Islam, Judaism, Christianity and on her own years in a convent and spiritual awakening. She believes religion is a force for harmony, and her latest book, The Case for God, explores the lengths humans will go to in search of a sacred experience called God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah or Dao.
Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, and Imam Abdullah T. Antepli, a co-founder of the Institute’s Muslim Leadership, spoke of the challenges of Jewish/Muslim dialogue, the role Zionism and Israel plays in interfaith relations, and why rising bigotry is not unique to one faith community nor one-way. This event was the first in a three-part series of dialogues about the Jewish State, including scholars from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds.
With the rise of Islamic militarism in the world it’s important to understand its roots. Lawrence Wright traces the history of the existence of the state of Israel and the historic enmity between Israelis and Arabs. He treated the audience to fascinating psychological profiles of Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, the three leaders who forged the Camp David accord in 1978, giving us an important reminder how peace is made.
Yotam Ottolenghi charmed a sold-out Kanbar Hall audience to celebrate the release of his new book Plenty More, a continuation of the vibrant, flavorful, and amazing vegetable recipes he shared with the world in his bestselling cookbook, Plenty, and his Guardian column. He was joined in conversation by the always-amazing Peter Stein. They discussed everything from Yotam’s early taste memories to his current focus on ingredients a bit further afield than those of his native Israel.
On January 29, we hosted an extremely thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation between Roger Cohen and Leon Wieseltier that ranged on topics both personal and political, including Jews and Muslims in Europe, displacement, identity, belonging, and Zionism. It was one of the best conversations we’ve presented on our stage.