Islamophobia and anti-Semitism: Roots & Remedy

Prof. Rabbi Reuven Firestone
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles)

Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have much in common though they arose from different historical circumstances. Both vent personal anxiety and fear by projecting them onto innocent others, and both are deeply embedded into the very fabric of Western culture and society.

Via a visual journey through history and the arts, this presentation will explore the origins of the problem, trace how and why it has become a basic part of our common culture, and suggest a way to overcome it in order to build a society and world in which we can all live and benefit together. 

Rabbi Reuven Firestone is professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles) and senior fellow at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. He is the co-director and founder of the Center for Muslim-Jewish engagement (University of Southern California) and has been involved in a variety of committees and commissions exploring Jewish-Muslim and Jewish-Arab relations in the United States. Since the winter term 2012/13 Firestone is a DAAD visiting professor at the Institut für Religionswissenschaften (Universität Potsdam).