The Jay Phillips Center’s rabbis-in-residence program promotes the study of Judaism, with special emphasis on the relationship of Judaism to Christianity and other religions. Along with presenting public lectures, the rabbis involved in this program serve as guest professors in classes and teach in other venues at the University of Saint Thomas and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University.
Rabbi Norman CohenIn residency during October and November, 2015
As part of his residency, Rabbi Cohen will deliver a public lecture titled "Jews and Christians: Rejecting Stereotypes, Forging New Relationships."
Rabbi Norman Cohen is senior rabbi of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka, a position he has held since the congregation’s founding in 1981. His engagement in interfaith learning with Christians goes back to his college years at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he graduated with honors in 1972. He earned his master’s degree from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of divinity there in 2001. Rabbi Cohen returns to Holy Cross College every year to serve as chaplain and advisor to Jewish students and faculty, and he also visits Hebrew Union College as a teacher in practical rabbinics. He has been an adjunct faculty member at several colleges and universities in Ohio and Minnesota, including St. Catherine University and St. Olaf College, and also at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He has authored numerous magazine and newspaper articles and the book Jewish Bible Personages in the New Testament (University Press of America, 1989). He is currently working on a new book, tentatively titled Stereotypes and Misconceptions that Christians and Jews Have about Each Other and What to do about Them.
Rabbi Alan Shavit-Lonstein is director of By The Rivers: A Multi-Faith Learning and Lifecycle Center based in St. Paul. He is also a staff member of Hineni: A Center for Adult Jewish Learning and Contemplative Practices at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul. A native of South Africa, he immigrated with his family to the United States as a young child and grew up in Golden Valley, Minnesota. He earned his B.A. degree from Washington University in Saint Louis, where he majored in history and peace studies. He lived in Israel where he attended Machon Pardes, an egalitarian yeshiva, and graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City in 2000 with rabbinic ordination and an M.A. degree in Jewish education. For two years, he was rabbi of the Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island, Illinois, and from 2002 to 2014 he was a rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul. Trained as a premarital counselor, Rabbi Shavit-Lonstein strives to make Jewish learning accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.