About the Madrasa-Midrasha-Program

Madrasa-Midrasha, a GTU program co-sponsored by the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for Islamic Studies, seeks to advance study, dialogue, and understanding on Jewish and Islamic texts and contexts within academia and the larger public sphere. The program offers workshops, lectures, panels, and courses that explore the richness, diversity, differences, and commonalities of Jewish and Islamic traditions. Participants study and learn about the two traditions through texts and as well as lived practice.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, a range of themes and topics have been explored, such as the understanding of sacred space through mosque and synagogue visits, holidays in both traditions, the lunar calendar, dietary laws, circumcision, pilgrimage, ritual, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Jerusalem, art and architecture, environment/ecology, identity and belonging, women and gender, Hagar, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, depictions of Jews and Muslims in US media/film, religion and the elections, and what is means to think about scholarship across disciplines and boundaries. Over the years, thousands have attended Madrasa-Midrasha events and programs, providing rich and valuable opportunities for mutual engagement and learning,

The terms madrasa and ­midrasha (Arabic­/Hebrew cognates, literally meaning “a place of study/learning”) refer to the traditional pedagogical settings, methods, and practices in the study of classical Islamic and Jewish sources. In our program, these closely related practices are mobilized for the purposes of contemporary Jewish-­Muslim study and dialogue.

Walter and Elise Haas Fund

Since its founding in 1952, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund has provided grants to a growing consortium of partners in the Bay Area to foster a more just and vibrant society for current and future generations. They understand that only when civil and constructive conversations about difficult and divisive issues are made possible, can we solve complex issues and create welcoming and inclusive communities.

The Walter and Elise Haas Fund has supported the Madrasa-Midrasha Program’s array of collaborative events, panel discussions, special courses, and workshops since 2016.