In 1942, Rabbi B. Benedict Glazer sought a way to soften the hatred and prejudice so bitterly dividing Detroit. One solution, he felt, was to bring together clergy friends to discuss understanding and mutual respect. Annually, he invited several Protestant ministers to Beth El to hear an outstanding authority on Judaism and share each other’s traditions. The Institute on Judaism for the Christian Clergy, as it was first known, grew yearly, becoming a Temple tradition.
Following Dr. Glazer’s untimely death in 1952, the Temple Board of Trustees renamed the Institute as a memorial to his vision and quest for goodwill among all people. Today, it is one of the foremost programs of its kind in the country. The roster of Institute speakers reads like a “Who’s Who” of American Jewish leadership and the Institute’s format has been widely emulated. Our guests now include both Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox clergy. In recent years, we have also been joined by leaders of the Muslim community in a truly inter-denominational, interracial, ecumenical effort to build better understanding of each other’s traditions.
In December, 1999, Temple Beth El mourned the loss of Ada S. Glazer, Dr. Glazer’s widow. She believed strongly in the Institute and what it had achieved in promoting understanding and enriching our knowledge of one another and had taken an active role in the selection of scholars and the planning of the day. In tribute to her and her dedication to all Dr. Glazer espoused, the Temple, together with her children, renamed the Institute as the Rabbi B. Benedict and Ada S. Glazer Institute.
This year’s annual Glazer Institute is coming up next Thursday, April 14 at 7pm. The institute is also open to and encourages participation from lay leaders who are committed to interfaith work in our greater-Detroit community.
Dr. Amy-Jill Levine will be the featured speaker. Her talk is titled “Sacred Context” – How a better understanding of religious roots can lead to stronger interfaith relationships. She will discuss misunderstandings in the New Testament. After her talk and Q&A, participants will break out into small table conversations to discuss misunderstandings in our own communities.
For more information, contact Laura Lucassian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-865-0602.