An inter-denominational learning community for those who are interested in Jewish culture and building bridges with the Chicagoland Jewish community.
- Jewish culture and issues
- Jesus in his Jewish context
- Jewish foundations of Christianity
- Jews who follow Jesus and Jews who don’t
- Jewish perspectives on Judaism/Christianity
While our gatherings are almost always presented from a Christian perspective, we absolutely welcome those from any background to come and engage in healthy and respectful dialogue.
Current Schedule (Subject to change)
All meetings are on Monday’s and begin at 7pm (unless otherwise noted) and are hosted at Willow Creek North Shore, 2200 Shermer Rd. (corner of E. Lake & Shermer Rd. in The Glen), Glenview, IL (www.willowcreeknorthshore.org)
October 10: Stan Guthrie | Editor at Large for Christianity Today and Author of The Story of God: Understand the Entire Bible by Focusing on Just One Verse in Each Book
Screenings of Promised Land: Israel Through The Eyes of Surfers
October 26: Northwestern Univ. | 8pm
October 27: Univ. of Chicago | 12pm | Skokie Theater | 7pm
November 7: Michelle Van Loon | Author of Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith
NO FORUM IN DECEMBER: Due to the transition of Willow Creek North Shore to its new building in Glenview, we will not be gathering this month.
April 3: Dr. James Hoffmeier | Professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern History & Archeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the author of The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible
May 8: Stuart Dauermann | Director of Interfaithfulness and the author of Converging Destinies: Jews, Christians, and the Mission of God (2017)
Past presenters include:
Dr. Richard Averbeck, Pastor John Bell, Jenny Berg Chandler, Mark Chassman, Rabbi Niles Goldstein, Pastor Jacob Fronczak, Daniel Gruber, Alan Handler, Dr. James Hoffmeier, Pastor David Jankowski, Rev. Dr. George Koch, Rabbi Evan Moffic, Dr. John Monson, Todd Morehead, Theresa Newell, Brian Newman, Randy Newman, Rev. Dan McNerney, Dr. Jacob Rosenberg, Dr. Michael Rydelnik, Mimi Sagadin, Dr. Tim Sigler, Dr. Andrew Steinmann, Dan Strull, Wes Taber, Lois Tverberg, Murray Tilles, Michelle Van Loon, Dr. Michael Wechsler, Michael Wolf, Jack Zimmerman
Please note that our past presenters do not necessarily share the same theological, doctrinal, or methodological perspectives, and their participation is not an endorsement of the Kesher Forum, the host church, or any of the organizations its participants are affiliated with. We don’t expect them to. But we all agree that it is possible to learn from and have respectful dialogue with people (both within and outside of the Christian community) we disagree with and they with us.
That is the spirit of the Kesher Forum.
What Is The Kesher Forum?
The Kesher Forum is a venue and network for followers of Jesus (and those interested in understanding the Christian faith from a Jewish perspective) from various denominational backgrounds who have a desire to learn more about Jewish culture and who want to build bridges between the Christian and Jewish communities in the Chicagoland area.
In a nutshell…we are followers of Jesus interested in engaging with the Jewish heritage of our faith and the Jewish community itself…to learn, to grow, and to build bridges of mutual interest and understanding.
Why Is This Needed?
The Christian community often struggles with effectively relating to and engaging with the Jewish community and the Jewish community is sometimes skeptical about doing so. We want to see that change.
There are also many followers of Jesus from a Jewish background or Jewish people in interfaith marriages who attend local churches and feel disconnected from fellowship with others from a similar background. Oftentimes they feel misunderstood within their local church and the wider Jewish community at-large; and there are many non-Jewish believers who would benefit from having more direct interaction with these individuals and learning from their stories about how to be more sensitive to the Jewish community around them. The Kesher Forum gatherings provide a venue to do just that.
- Connect believers of all backgrounds to the Jewish heritage of the Christian faith
- Connect believers of all backgrounds with their Jewish friends and neighbors
- Connect believers from a Jewish background with other Jewish believers
- Connect believers from non-Jewish backgrounds with believers from a Jewish background
- Connect members in the Jewish community with Christians who care about similar interests and causes irrespective of their theological differences
How do we want to do this?
- Encourage Jewish believers within local churches to stay connected with their Jewish heritage and identity
- Expose non-Jewish believers to the spiritual journeys and struggles that Jewish believers sometimes face as a result of being misunderstood and/or ostracized for their faith in Jesus
- Equip all believers to engage the Jewish community with greater sensitivity and understanding in the spirit of Jesus’ teaching to “love our neighbors as [ourselves].”
Where do we meet?
Unless otherwise noted, our gatherings are hosted at the North Shore campus of Willow Creek Community Church, located at 2200 Shermer Rd., Glenview, IL , at 7pm on the date posted. For more information about our gatherings, check out our Facebook page or e-mail us at email@example.com.
The Kesher Forum is NOT directly associated with any particular church, denomination, or para-church ministry organzation, but is purely a venue for dialogue and learning for followers of Jesus who are genuinely interested in building authentic and loving relationships with their Jewish friends and neighbors, and they with us.