June 7, 2021 — New York
Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims, the highly acclaimed book by Rabbi Dr. Reuven Firestone of Hebrew Union College, first published by American Jewish Committee (AJC) in 2001, will be updated and distributed in multiple languages prevalent in Muslim-majority countries around the world.
“AJC has long been a pioneer in cultivating closer ties between Jews and Muslims, building partnerships in the Arab world, South Asia, Africa and beyond,” said AJC CEO David Harris. AJC has prioritized Muslim-Jewish understanding as its top interfaith priority for the 21st century. AJC made the announcement today to a worldwide audience participating in the AJC 2021 Virtual Global Forum.
“We see a growing desire across the Muslim world for in-depth knowledge about Judaism and the Jewish people,” Harris added. “The Children of Abraham translation project will make an authentic Jewish voice widely accessible to hundreds of millions of Muslims.”
Firestone’s book stands as the first work of it is kind to offer a comprehensive introduction to Judaism with a special emphasis on issues of particular concern to Muslims. Firestone is the Regenstein Professor in Medieval Judaism and Islam at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. He presents Judaism with a Muslim audience in mind, thus establishing intimacy between Jewish and Muslim tradition and worldviews.
The volume will be updated to reflect the significant developments in Jewish-Muslim relations over the past two decades. It is expected to be translated and made digitally available in Arabic, Bahasa/Indonesian, Bengali, Persian, Turkish and Urdu.
Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims was first developed 20 years ago with a grant from AJC’s Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Institute for Interreligious Understanding. Updating the book, publishing it in several languages, and widely distributing it is the latest AJC initiative to foster understanding in the Muslim world about Judaism and the Jewish people.
Groundbreaking AJC initiatives include:
- Establishment of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) in 2016
- Joint Muslim-Jewish mission, with the Muslim World League, to Auschwitz-Birkenau
- Partnership with the Mimouna Association to build bridges of Arab-Jewish understanding between young leadership
- Launch in 2020 of @AJCArabic on Twitter and Facebook, including the creation of the video series viewed by tens of millions, ‘An al-Yahud, or “About the Jews”.