The Kesher Forum

An inter-denominational learning community for those who are interested in Jewish culture and building bridges with the Chicagoland Jewish community.

The stuff we talk about…

  • Jewish culture and social issues
  • Jesus in his Jewish context
  • Jewish foundations of Christianity
  • Jewish perspectives on the Jewish and Christian faith
  • Why some Jews follow Jesus and others don’t

All meetings are open to the public (unless otherwise noted) and are normally on the first or second Monday of the month at 7pm, hosted at Willow Creek North Shore, 2200 Shermer Rd. (corner of E. Lake & Shermer Rd. in The Glen), Glenview, IL (www.willowcreeknorthshore.org)

While our gatherings are almost always presented from a Christian perspective, we always welcome those from any background to come and engage in healthy and respectful dialogue.

2018-19 Schedule

SEPTEMBER 10: JUSTIN KRON, Founding Coordinator of the Kesher Forum | Encountering Jesus through the High Holidays

OCTOBER 8: DR. ERWIN W. LUTZER, Author, Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church | Hitler’s Cross: The Revealing Story of How the Cross of Christ Was Used As a Symbol of the Nazi Agenda

NOVEMBER 5: MICHELLE VAN LOON, Author, U.S. Administrator for the Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies | Born to Wander: Recovering the Value of Our Pilgrim Identity

DECEMBER 3: DR. JOHN MONSON, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School | But The Wise Shall Understand”: Reading 1-2 Peter in Light of Daniel 12

JANUARY 7: RABBI EVAN MOFFIC, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Solel, Highland Park, IL | First the Jews: Combating the World’s Longest-Running Hate Campaign

FEBRUARY 11: SCREENING OF DELI MAN (PG-13),the third film of a series produced by Erik Greenberg Anjou that explores Jewish culture in America

MARCH 11: TBD

APRIL 8: TBD

MAY 6: TBD

 

Past presenters include:

Gregory Athnos, Dr. Richard Averbeck, Pastor John Bell, Jenny Berg Chandler, Mark Chassman, Dr. Stuart Dauermann, Aaron Elster, Rabbi Niles Goldstein, Pastor Jacob Fronczak, Daniel Gruber, Stan Guthrie, Alan Handler, Sam Harris, Dr. Peter Hayes, Dr. James Hoffmeier, Pastor David Jankowski, Dr. Boaz Johnson, Rev. Dr. George Koch, Rabbi Evan Moffic, Dr. John Monson, Todd Morehead, Dr. Paul Nelson, Dr. 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, Dr. Joel Willits, Michael Wolf, Jack Zimmerman

Please note that our current and 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?

181612_187954147903556_159299360769035_545451_6995907_nThe 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.

Objectives:

  • 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 Willow Creek North Shore (in the Student Center), 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 kesherforum@gmail.com.

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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.

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