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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU Holds Second Annual Global Shemin Trialogue Seminar:  'Children of Abraham: One God, Many Voices'

BOCA RATON , FL (January 3, 2008) –  Florida Atlantic University   presents  the second annual Global Shemin Trialogue Seminar entitled “Children of Abraham: One God, Many Voices.”   The seminar will be held on Monday, February 11 from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium in the Student Union on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.   The seminar is free, but pre-registration is required by calling 561-297-2979 or visiting www.fau.edu/shemin.  

The Shemin Trialogue is the creation of Rhoda and Emanuel (Manny) Shemin, local residents who have taken a special interest in opening lines of communication on the subject of Christian, Islamic and Jewish relations.  In bringing together three influential and internationally-known religious leaders, the couple hopes to further dialogue and education that can translate into meaningful action regarding interfaith relations.  

The three keynote speakers for the event are Rabbi A. James Rudin, senior inter-religious advisor of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in New York; Ambassador Akbar Ahmed , the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.; and Thomas A. Idinopulos, professor of comparative religious studies at Miami University in Ohio. The seminar will be moderated by Alan Berger, the Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair in Holocaust Studies in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.

“The Shemin Trialogue is an invaluable asset for those wishing to participate meaningfully in conversation about interfaith relations,” said Berger.   “These conversations are increasingly important in our time. Carried out by informed people of good will, such discussion can make an enormous contribution in our search for a peaceful world.”

Rudin, who will offer the Jewish perspective, retired as a member of the AJC professional staff, but continues his involvement with the AJC as its senior inter-religious advisor and as a member of the organization’s Board of Governors.   He is the past chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious Consultations, and he has participated in 10 meetings with Pope John Paul II. Rudin also participated in historic meetings with the World Council of Churches in Geneva and with Eastern Orthodox Christian leaders in Greece.  He has been a frequent guest on radio and television programs including NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS, NPR and BBC.

Ahmed, who will offer the Islamic perspective, is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington D.C.   The BBC called him “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam.”  Ahmed has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Harvard and Cambridge Universities and was the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain. He has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. Ahmed is regularly interviewed on CNN, CBC and the BBC, and has appeared several times on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Night Line.”

The panel member offering the Christian perspective, Idinopulos, is the consulting editor to “Middle East Review” and “Religion and Theory.”   His books include Comparing Religions: Possibilities and Perils, and Betrayal of Spirit; Jewhatred, Christianity, and the Holocaust.   Idinopulos has been a guest speaker in India, Israel, Jordan, Germany, Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.   In 1981, H.R.H. Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan invited Indinopulos to confer with scholars and political leaders on the future of Jerusalem, and he was a guest scholar at Mishkenot Sha'nanim, the culture center of the Jerusalem Foundation.  

The inaugural Shemin Trialogue Seminar, held in February of 2007, drew over 500 people to FAU.   Shemin hopes to draw even more to the seminar this year.

“Rhoda and I are very pleased to sponsor the second annual Shemin Trialogue this year,” said Shemin.   “Based on the success of last year’s Trialogue, we have increased the registration to 1,000 attendees and have moved the venue to the evening so that additional people will have the opportunity to attend. Dr. Berger has assembled a very distinguished group of speakers to continue the necessary dialogue to achieve peace and religious understanding through education in our very complex world." 

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