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News from the Hill September 16, 2010 | back to index

Luce Foundation provides $285,000 grant to continue and expand interfaith work with Hebrew College

The Henry Luce Foundation has approved a two-year $285,000 grant to Andover Newton to expand its interreligious leadership training program with Hebrew College.

The grant, beginning July 1, 2010, follows a prior two-year grant from the Luce Foundation, awarded in 2008, that enabled the two schools to establish the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE).

The CIRCLE program, which sponsors fellowships, interfaith projects, and conferences, has brought national recognition to Andover Newton and Hebrew College as leaders in the contemporary interfaith education movement. CIRCLE’s directors were recently invited to a special White House conference on promoting interfaith understanding on American college and university campuses.

Located on a campus adjoining Andover Newton in Newton Centre, Hebrew College has collaborated with Andover Newton on a number of Interfaith initiatives, including “Journeys on the Hill,” an interfaith exchange program that preceded CIRCLE.

Hebrew College offers transdenominational graduate and undergraduate programs in the study of Judaism; preparation for the rabbinate, cantorate, Jewish education and communal professions; and lifelong learning opportunities.

The Luce Foundation

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time magazine, Henry R. Luce.

Based in New York City, The Luce Foundation includes grant-making programs that support higher education, American art, environment, theology, understanding of Asia, and women in science and engineering. It has supported the CIRCLE program since its inception.

CIRCLE leadership team

CIRCLE will continue under the co-direction of Dr. Jennifer Peace, assistant professor of Interfaith Studies at Andover Newton, and Rabbi Or Rose, associate dean of Informal Programming at Hebrew College, with CIRCLE co-founder Rev. Dr. Gregory Mobley, professor of Old Testament Studies at Andover Newton, serving as director of academic programming.

CIRCLE Fellows for 2010-2011 named

CIRCLE’s central mission is to nurture a new generation of moral and spiritual leaders equipped for service in a religiously diverse world. With the renewed funding from Luce, CIRCLE has awarded fellowships to a cohort of student leaders from each institution. 

The 2010-2011 CIRCLE Fellows are:  Alana Alpert (Hebrew College), Diane Anderson (Andover Newton); Joseph Cleveland (Andover Newton); Kathryn Common (Andover Newton); David Fainsilber (Hebrew College); Beth Gerwig (Andover Newton); Ellen Quaadgras (Andover Newton); Becky Silverstein (Hebrew College); and Marvin Lance Wiser (Andover Newton).

Planned Certificate in Interfaith Leadership

In addition to the fellowship program and a schedule of joint events for students, staff and faculty, CIRCLE is working with faculty and administrators from both schools to implement a joint Certificate in Interfaith Leadership.

CIRCLE will continue to develop its innovative model of interfaith education and to share this model more broadly as participants in a national conversation about the nature of religious leadership in the 21st century.