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Interfaith Leadership in the Time of Tribalism

Interfaith Leadership in the Time of Tribalism

Boundary-breaking Interfaith Youth Core leader Eboo Patel asserts the need for building bridges at Spertus Institute’s 2020 Leadership Forum

Dinner and discussion, Monday evening, January 13, 2020

At the start of 2020, a year in which a contentious election threatens to exacerbate fractures already dividing our country, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership presents Eboo Patel, the boundary-breaking founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, to convey the idea that religion can be a bridge, not a barrier.

In a discussion-centered presentation titled Interfaith Leadership in the Time of Tribalism, Patel will address religious diversity and the role of leadership. The event is Spertus Institute’s 2020 Leadership Forum. It takes place Monday, January 13, 2020, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Spertus is located a 610 S. Michigan Avenue.

Patel will draw on inspiring examples to underscore how we can build a country where all people thrive. To him, the best metaphor for a diverse democracy isn’t a melting pot, but a potluck in which everyone contributes and therefore everyone feasts. “To see the other side, to defend another people, not despite your tradition, but because of it, is the heart of pluralism,” said Patel.

Eboo Patel is a leading figure on issues of religious diversity and democracy. For 15 years, he has worked with governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Interfaith Leadership: A Primer, and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

Tickets, priced at $25 ($10 for students, clergy, and employees of Jewish organizations), include dinner and are available for purchase online at Kosher and halal dietary laws will be observed. Advance reservations are requested by January 3, 2020.

The Leadership Forum is an annual event presented by Spertus Institute’s Center for Jewish Leadership. It brings members of the public together with Spertus students, alumni, and faculty to consider issues of leadership as they relate to our lives and work today. The Center for Jewish Leadership is supported by a generous grant from the Crown Family.

Event and ticket information on

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership (610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago), offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs—including films, exhibitions, speakers, seminars, workshops, and concerts—take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online.

Spertus Institute is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.

Sunday, December 15, 2019