A Panel Discussion: Women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Panel members: Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Ms. Gail Anderson, Dr. Elaine MacMillan, Dr. Fatma REda, Ms. Honaida Al-Mottahar


Thursday, October 7, 2010
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium



Rabbi Amy Eilberg

is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. After many years of work in pastoral care, hospice and spiritual direction, Rabbi Eilberg now directs the Interfaith Conversations Project at the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning.   Deeply engaged in peace and reconciliation efforts in connection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she now serves as chair of J Street Minnesota. She is at work on a book on Judaism and Peacebuilding. 

Ms. Gail Anderson

is the Director of Unity and Relationships, Minnesota Council of Churches, where she directs Interfaith and Ecumenical programming.  With the Muslim American Society she organizes Taking Heart, a program designed to bring Muslim and Christian neighbors together.  She was a 2009 recipient of a Building Bridges award from the Islamic Resource Group in Minnesota.  Her newest program is called Taking Root, a program to create interfaith understanding as well as welcome refugees to Minnesota who arrive without any connection to the community.  Gail earned a Masters Degree in Theology from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.   She also has been an award winning television producer, and president of a corporate communications company.

Dr. Elaine MacMillan

received her PhD in ecclesiology from the University of Toronto, and is now teaching courses in the University of St. Thomas theology department. She has done research and has spoken widely on the role of women in the Christian church. For many years she represented the U.S. Catholic Bishops at the national Faith and Order Conference (a branch of the National Council of Churches of Christ).

Dr. Fatma Reda

is a consulting physician who has spoken widely on Islam and the role of women in Islam. She studied medicine at Oxford University and the University of Minnesota medical school (psychiatry, psychopharmacology), and also has a Ph.D. in Comparative Religious Studies from the University of Canterbury (Kent, U.K.). She has been extremely active in interfaith dialogue in the Twin Cities area with both Jewish and Christian organizations for decades. She is also a third level Mureedah (female seeker) in the Naqshabandi Sufi order.

Ms. Honaida Al-Mottahar

is an American of Yemeni descent. Ms. Al-Mottahar is a prolific speaker and expert on matters of faith and cultural matters. She is an active member of the Minnesota faith communities and a strong advocate of inter-religious dialogue. Ms. Almottahar is completing her post graduate studies majoring in education. She is married with three lovely sons.

The event was introduced and moderated by Dr. Marisa Kelly, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

This event was co-sponsored by the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center, the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, and the Luann Dummer Center for Women at the University of St. Thomas, and the Minnesota Council of Churches. 

click here for a streaming video of the panel discussion...