September 4, 2018 — New York
Ari Gordon has been named Director of U.S. Muslim-Jewish Relations for AJC (American Jewish Committee), the global Jewish advocacy organization. First created two years ago, this position marked a significant expansion of AJC programmatic activities aimed at deepening Muslim-Jewish understanding and engaging in constructive, cooperative interactions.
“Building effective partnerships between Muslims and Jews is an imperative for American Jewry today. It is a privilege to rejoin the Jewish organization that is leading the way,” said Gordon. “Differences notwithstanding, American Muslims and Jews can work together to safeguard the promise and freedoms of this country for all.”
Gordon succeeds Robert Silverman, AJC’s first Director of U.S. Muslim-Jewish Relations, who was instrumental in the formation and launch of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC). The Council brings together 46 civil society, religious, and business leaders from across the United States to advocate for domestic policy issues of common concern.
“Ari Gordon combines a historian’s view of Judaism and Islam with a modern passion for the American Muslim and Jewish contexts,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. “His return to AJC offers a bright future of continued stalwart leadership for our programs that advance and expand Muslim-Jewish understanding and cooperation in the U.S.”
Gordon previously worked at AJC in interreligious affairs from 2005-08 and 2010-11. During more recent years, he has served as an AJC Special Advisor for Interreligious and Intergroup Relations.
In early fall, Gordon will complete his doctorate in Islamic Studies and the History of Muslim-Jewish Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is fluent in Arabic and Hebrew. Gordon holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Yeshiva University and a M.T.S. in Islamic Studies from Harvard Divinity School. He also is a recipient of the prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship.
Groundbreaking initiatives in interreligious relations, across the U.S. and around the world, have been central to AJC since the organization’s founding in 1906. While much of the focus in the 20th century was on Christian-Jewish relations, leading to pathbreaking achievements, a priority over the past 25 years has been relations with Muslim communities around the world.