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On March 15th Department Chair of Religion at George Washington University, Robert Eisen joined the Rumi Forum for a presentation on Jews and how they have survived centuries of persecution and thrived in the West.


Thursday, March 15th, 2018


 11:45-12:15 (Reception)
12:15-1:15 (Program)


Rumi Forum
2000 P St. NW
Suite #503
Washington, DC 20036



Over time, Jews have endured great hardships and overcome challenging obstacles in order to be a successful minority religion in the West. Today, Jews make up roughly 2% of the total population in North America while other Western countries such as France (2%), and the United Kingdom (2%) retain similar shares of the global Jewish population. From the adversities that accompany maintaining a religious minority identity, Jews have amassed achievements in economic, intellectual and artistic spheres. In this talk, Professor Robert Eisen will share insights from a book he is currently writing about this occurrence. He will explain from an academic standpoint how Jewish religion and culture evolved over the centuries and prepared Jews for the challenges of the modern period. He will also attempt to share insights about what people from other cultures can learn from the success of Jews in the modern West.  



Robert Eisen is a Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion. The focus of his most recent research approaches to peace and violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Eisen is the author of four books that reflect his varied interests: Gersonides on Providence, Covenant, and the Chosen People (State University of New York Press, 1995); The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2004); The Peace and Violence of Judaism: From the Bible to Modern Zionism (Oxford University Press, 2011); Religious Zionism, Jewish Law, and the Morality of War (Oxford University Press, 2017). He also co-edited Philosophers and the Jewish Bible (University of Maryland Press, 2008) with Charles Manekin. Eisen is currently working on a book about why Jews have been remarkably successful in the modern Western world economically, intellectually, and culturally. Eisen has received a number of grants and awards to support his research, including a Fulbright research grant at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1999-2000. He was also given a teaching award in 2005 from George Washington University in recognition of his contributions in the classroom. Eisen is active in adult education initiatives. He served from 1991-2008 on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Jewish Studies which brings lecturers to Washington from academic institutions all over the world. 


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