With its events, our Jewish-Islamic Forum strives to reach both a general audience and professionals in academia and government. The Forum's focal points are the circumstances of Jews and Muslims as minorities in Germany and the history of their fluctuating relationship. It pursues questions of religious practice and the philosophy of religion, such as the tension between tradition and modernity in both Judaism and Islam. Additionally, the Forum concerns itself with the impact of the conflicts in the Middle East on German society.
W. M. Blumenthal Academy
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
A Comparative Perspective on Judaism and Islam
In particular, the Forum aims to reveal commonalities between Judaism and Islam through a comparative perspective without neglecting the unique attributes of each. With these efforts, we hope to counteract the frequent tendency to frame them as starkly oppositional. The Jewish-Islamic Forum also hosts events that complement our museum's temporary exhibitions, building a bridge between the Academy and the Museum.
Provisional Head of the Academy Programs
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Academy Program on Migration and Diversity
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Jewish Museum Berlin Fellowship
Research projects on Jewish history & culture, migration & diversity in Germany
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Past Events for You to Listen To and Watch
Conferences, lectures, readings, and panel discussions of our Academy Programs
At a Glance…
Lecture Series 2019/20: The Others’ Faith (6)
The Others’ Faith
This lecture series explores the complex relationship of Judaism and Islam to the other religions. Two researchers are invited to each event who present the topic from Jewish and Islamic perspectives and enter into dialog with each other.
On the Path to Enlightenment: Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism
With Jerome Gellman (Ben-Gurion University) und Johan Elverskog (Southern Methodist University)
24 Sep 2020 – livestream
Tying the Knot versus Bonds with God: Jews and Muslims in Interfaith Marriages
With Madeleine Dreyfus (psychoanalyst with a doctorate in cultural anthropology) und Imen Gallala-Arndt (lawyer and a lecturer at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Thu, 18 Jun 2020 (with video recording)
Non-Transcendental Morality: Judaism, Islam, and Atheism
With Jacques Berlinerblau (Georgetown University) and Ufuk Topkara (Johns Hopkins University), in German and English
20 Apr 2020 (with video recording)
What Do You Think about Jesus? Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
With Israel Yuval (Hebrew University in Jerusalem) and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth (Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), in German and English
18 Feb 2020 (with video recording)
Mono or Poly? Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism
With Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein (Elijah Interfaith Institute) and Reza Shah-Kazemi (Institute of Ismaili Studies in London)
4 Feb 2020 (with video recording)
Judaism and Islam – The History of Theological Relations
With Lukas Mühlethaler (Free University Berlin) and Imam Abdullah Antepli (Duke University, USA), in German and English
21 Nov 2019 (with video recording)
Lecture Series 2018-19: Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam (6)
Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam
Scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology over the past centuries have called into question the centrality of humans as the “crown of creation.”
Today, religious and scientific positions are often seen as irreconcilable. This lecture series sets out to explore the tensions and affinities between Judaism, Islam, and the sciences.
Creation and Evolution in Schools
With Rachel S. A. Pear (Center for Jewish Education in the University of Haifa) and Anila Asghar (Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, Canada)
4 Jul 2019
Do You Believe in Miracles?
With James A. Diamond (Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada) and Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu (Professor in Religious Studies at St. Joseph’s University in Philidelphia, United States)
13 Jun 2019 (with video recording)
Humanity: Between Destiny and Free Will
With Alan Mittleman (Jewish Theological Seminary of America) and Martin Mahmud Kellner (Institute of Islamic Theology, Osnabrück)
30 Apr 2019 (with video recording)
How Much God Is in the Holy Scriptures?
With Benjamin Sommer (expert in modern Jewish theology) and Ghassan el Masri (researcher on the Koran in the context of the Arabic literature of his time), in German and English
5 Mar 2019 (with video recording)
God, Darwin, and Evolution
With Natan Slifkin (Biblical Museum of Natural History, Beit Shemesh, Israel) and Fatimah Jackson (Howard University, USA)
31 Jan 2019 (with video recording)
Science in the Light of Faith
With Geoffrey A. Mitelman (Sinai and Synapses) and Ahmad S. Dallal (Georgetown University, Qatar)
20 Nov 2018 (with video recording)
Lecture Series: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights (6)
Jewish and Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights
Our lecture series addresses controversial human rights topics arising in various walks of life and examines them from Jewish and Islamic perspectives. For every lecture, we invite two scholars who present their own positions and then engage in a dialogue.
My God, Your God, No God
With Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University) and Anver Emon (University of Toronto)
14 Jun 2018 (with video recording)
Equal before God and Humans?
With Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College) and Katajun Amirpur (University of Hamburg)
3 May 2018 (with video recording)
How Much Criticism Do Judaism and Islam Tolerate?
With Suzanne Last Stone (Yeshiva University) and Anshuman Mondal (University of East Anglia), in English and German
12 Apr 2018 (with video recording)
The Right to Life
With David Novak (University of Toronto) and Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University)
8 Mar 2018 (with video recording)
Human Rights Treaties and How They are Received
With Michael Galchinsky (Georgia State University) and Mashood Baderin (University of London)
25 Jan 2018 (with video recording)
Human Rights and Religions – A Contradiction?
With Shaheen Sardar Ali (University of Warwick) and Jill Jacobs (Rabbi and the Managing Director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights)
23 Nov 2017 (with video recording)
Film and Reading Series: Between Marrakesh and Mashhad: Jews in Islamic Countries (9)
Between Marrakesh and Mashhad: Jews in Islamic Countries
This film and reading series, hosted by the Academy program’s Jewish-Islamic Forum from July 2016 to September 2017, explored the past and present of Jewish lives in different countries of North Africa and the Middle East.
Las ultimas palavras
14 September 2017
Documentary, Turkish/Ladino with English subtitles
6 July 2017
Video art by the Israeli-Iranian artist Elham Rokni; Persian/Hebrew with English and Hebrew subtitles (audio recording of the talk available)
My Father’s Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq
11 May 2017
Reading and discussion in English with the author Ariel Sabar
Iraq N’ Roll
27 April 2017
Documentary, Israel 2011, 54 min,
Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
Damascus With Love
9 March 2017
Feature film, Syria 2010, 91 min, original Arabic version with English subtitles
The Jews and the Longest Kiss in History
14 December 2016
Documentary, Great Britain 2011, 60 min, English original version
Salata baladi – An Egyptian Salad
3 November 2016
Documentary, Egypt 2008, 105 min, Arabic with English subtitles
28 September 2016
France 2008, 87 min, French/Arabic original soundtrack with English subtitles
14 July 2016
Documentary, Algeria, France, Ireland, 2012, 88 min, French/Arabic original soundtrack with English subtitles
Lecture Series: Ethical Questions in Judaism and Islam (with video recordings) (6)
Ethical Questions in Judaism and Islam (with video recordings)
The lecture series explored contentious ethical issues from diverse aspects of life and shed light on them from Jewish and Islamic perspectives. Two guest scholars gave each lecture, presented their tradition’s position, and engaged in a mutual dialogue.
Man as Lord or Guardian of Creation?
13 July 2017
Discussion: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Director of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University in Tempe, and Nawal Ammar, Dean of the Humanities & Social Sciences College at Rowan University in New Jersey
Sexual Ethics: Sexuality, Lust, Eroticism, and God
16 May 2017
Discussion: David Biale, author of Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America and Kecia Ali, author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Quran, Hadith, and Jurisprudence.
Military Ethics: The (Religious) Laws Silent Beneath the Weapons?
6 April 2017
Discussion: Michael Broyde, Professor and Head of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, and Asma Afsaruddin, Professor at Indiana University.
The Boundaries of Life - Bioethical Challenges
Discussion: Laurie Zoloth professor of religion at Weinberg College, Northwestern University, and Ilhan Ilkilic, director of the Institute for Health Sciences and the Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics at the University of Istanbul.
23 February 2017 – with video recording
Business Ethics – Is Capitalism Kosher/Halal?
8 December 2016
Discussion: Nathan Lee Kaplan, author of a book on Talmudic business ethics, and Idris Nassery, research associate at the Institute of Islamic Theology, University of Paderborn
Social Ethics – On Fair Social Order
26 October 2016
Discussion: Ingrid Mattson, professor of Islamic Studies, Huron College of Western University in Canada, and Micha Brumlik, senior advisor at the Berlin-Brandenburg Center of Jewish Studies
Jewish-Moroccan Film Week: My Heart in the Maghreb (5)
My Heart in the Maghreb
In May 2016, the film week My Heart in the Maghreb presented a variety of perspectives on Moroccan Judaism, with feature and documentary films from France, Canada, Israel, and especially from Morocco itself. Most of the films made their German debut in the festival.
Opening of the Jewish-Moroccan Film Week
8 May 2016
Introductory Talk by Daniel J. Schroeter and Concert by Neta Elkayam Howa Jani
White Walls & Come Mother
9 May 2016
Two movies: White Walls (Director: Meital Abekassis) and Come Mother (Director: Sami Shalom Chetrit)
Goodbye Mothers, Moroccan Jews. Destinies Undone & Where are you going, Moshe?
10 May 2016
Three movies: Goodbye Mothers (Director: Mohamed Ismaïl), Moroccan Jews. Destinies Undone (Director: Younes Laghrari) & Where are you going, Moshe? (Director: Hassan Benjelloun)
Aïda & The Midnight Orchestra
11 May 2016
Two movies: Aïda (Director: Driss Mrini) und The Midnight Orchestra (Director: Jérôme Cohen Olivar)
Oulad Moumen & They were Promised the Sea
12 May 2016
Two movies and Closing Panel
Lecture Series: Judaism & Islam in the Diaspora (with video footage) (5)
Judaism & Islam in the Diaspora (with video footage)
The series of panel discussions explored topical questions that Jews and Muslims in the diaspora confront in their everyday religious practice. Each event featured two academics presenting the Jewish and Islamic perspectives.
Feminist Approaches to Judaism and Islam
14 April 2016
Panel Discussion with Judith Plaskow, religious scholar and author of one of the first works of Jewish feminist theology, New York and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, researcher on Islamic law and gender, London.
Organic Meets Kosher and Halal
1 June 2016
Panel Discussion with Shai Lavi, Professor of Law and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University, and Sarra Tlili, University of Florida.
Religious Law and Secular State
9 December 2015
Panel Discussion with Ronen Reichman, Professor of Talmud, Codices, and Rabbinic Literature at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg and Mathias Rohe, Professor of Civil Law, Private International Law, and Comparative Law as well as head of the Erlangen Center for Islam and the Law in Europe (EZIRE), Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg.
What Does Diaspora Mean for Jews and Muslims?
29 October 2015
Panel Discussion with Michael L. Satlow, Professor of Judaic Studies and Religious Studies at Brown University, Providence and Sarah Albrecht, research associate at the Institute of Islamic Studies, Free University Berlin.
Becoming a Jew, Becoming a Muslim
18 February 2016
Panel Discussion with Tobias Jona Simon, rabbi of the Association of Jewish Communities in Lower Saxony and Esra Özyürek, professor for Contemporary Turkish Studies at the European Institute, London School of Economics.