Havurah hosts interfaith study group

, spiritual leader of the Havurah synagogue in Ashland, is offering a six-week historic interfaith study course on "Roots and Branches &

The Jewish Roots of Christianity" beginning Monday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m.

"Rarely have Jews and Christians come together to study our sacred texts as brothers and sisters," Zaslow said. "In March of 2008, Time magazine had an article listing the top 10 ideas that are changing the world. One of them was recognition of the Jewishness of Jesus. Our class will focus on how this simple idea has revolutionary implications for both Jews and Christians."

The class has received rave reviews from participants.

"Being in a room with such an amazingly diverse group of people from so many spiritual backgrounds who are open and willing to learn some difficult facts about our shared history was uplifting and brought us all closer to a shared future," Ayala Zonnenschein, program director of Havurah Shir Hadash, said.

The class was well attended by both Jews and Christians.

"'s class helps further Jewish/Christian relations by exploring the Jewish roots of Christianity, while also naming and unpacking the destructive legacy of Christian anti-Semitism," Reverend Pam Shepherd of Ashland First Congregational United Church of Christ said. "Opportunities like this are a blessing."

Class participant Ron Dulaney said: "Realizing how deeply Jewish Jesus was made him more real and accessible to me. It brought me closer to my faith."

Another participant, Pastor Ron Timens of the Rivergate Church, said "The class was disturbing, provoking and enlightening. Rabbi David taught with respect, honor, and humor. It was a great experience, which I hope and pray will lead to further acts of reconciliation between church and synagogue."

The class will consist of Christians and Jews tackling the historic challenges of anti-Semitism and the future of our shared vision to make the world a better place. The course will answer questions like: what are the Jewish roots of the "Our father" prayer? What are the Jewish roots of the Eucharist? What did the notions of heaven, salvation, and redemption mean to religious Jews in the first century? What were the causes of Christian anti-Semitism?

Participants will use 's text "Roots and Branches." The fee for the class is on a sliding scale from $18 to $50, plus $24 for the text. Advance registration is requested.

For more information or to register, call 488-7716 or visit .

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