Four Moments in the History of Jewish-Christian Interactions and their Meaning for Contemporary Jews

Pearlstone Center

Dates: Every day September 06, 2015 - September 07, 2015
Speaker: Professor David Ruderman




The Dr. Harvey H. Ammerman Memorial Study Retreat

For over forty years, Dr. Ruderman's fascination with Jewish intellectual and cultural history has focused on the complex interactions between Jewish minorities and the Christian majorities in which they have often lived. While some Christians persecuted Jews and accused them of killing their God, others professed deep love and affection for Judaism and understood their own most authentic roots as Jewish ones. Similarly, Jews were repelled by Christian aggression but were also attracted to aspects of Christian culture which they appropriated as their own. Even at their most hostile moments, Jews and Christians have reacted and responded to the other, and these responses helped to shape their own notions of the self.

In these four presentations, Dr. Ruderman looks at four unique encounters between Christians and Jews, and outlines the complexity of this mutual repulsion and attraction. All four examples are taken from his own original research. It is Dr. Ruderman's belief, and an underlying principle of his research, that this understanding of the past might help us more profoundly evaluate the relationship between Jews and Christians, and Judaism and Christianity.

Lecture Topics:

1. Jews, Christians, and the Kabbalah in Renaissance Italy
2. Islam, Christianity, and the Bizarre Jewish Messiah: Shabbtai Zvi
3. “A Christian Must Study Mishnah”: Christian Rabbinism in 18th century England
4. A Missionary, a Meshumad (Apostate), and a Maskil (Enlightener): The Revival of the Jewish-Christian Debate in the 19th century

CLICK HERE for a Tentative Program Schedule.

Labor Day Weekend

Sunday, September 6-Monday, September 7, 2015


$190 per person, Double Occupancy for Friends of the Foundation
$265 Single Occupancy for Friends of the Foundation

$205 per person, Double Occupancy for General Public
$295 Single Occupancy for General Public

All rooms at Pearlstone are now filled, but we can arrange housing at nearby hotels if you would still like to attend the Retreat.

The Foundation for Jewish Studies does not provide insurance coverage and does not assume any liability. We recommend that you secure your own travel/medical insurance for the duration of the retreat.

Cancelation policy: There is a fee for cancelations within seven days of the retreat. The Foundation retains $50, plus any fees charged by the Pearlstone center.

Event will be held at:

Pearlstone Center
5425 Mt. Gilead Rd.
Reisterstown, MD 21136

To register, please call the Foundation office at 301-770-4787.


2200B Baltimore Road, Rockville, Maryland 20851 Phone: 301-770-4787 Email: [email protected]