Deepening understanding and connection between Muslims and Jews in North America by expanding North American Muslim leaders’ understanding of Jewish peoplehood, the relationship between religion and national identity, the meaning of the land of Israel for Jews, and issues of ethics, faith, and practice
Now in its sixth year, the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) invites North American Muslims to explore how Jews understand Judaism, Israel, and Jewish peoplehood. The program aims to foster sophisticated relationships between Jewish and Muslims leaders in North America that can weather disagreement and difficulty. During the one-year MLI fellowship, a select group of North American Muslim leaders travel to the Institute in Jerusalem for text-based, hevruta-style and experiential learning, and gather in person and online for continued learning in North America. MLI alumni continue to study with the Institute to deepen and broaden their understanding of issues affecting Jews in Israel and North America.
In 2018-19, MLI launched its sixth and seventh cohorts, bringing the total number of participants and alumni across North America to nearly 120. This past year, MLI alumni and Jewish leaders came together to study key issues. MLI alumni and Jewish peers collaborated on bringing their communities together to build relationships and discuss topics that are often taboo or controversial.
MLI Co-Director and Israeli author and journalist Yossi Klein Halevi and MLI Alumnus and American Muslim professor Parvez Ahmed in dialogue in March 2019: "Friendship Across Difference"
The Muslim Leadership Initiative is supported by B'nai Torah Congregation, The Russell Berrie Foundation, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Alan B. Slifka Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, and other generous donors.