West Long Branch, NJ - Monmouth University’s Jewish Cultural Studies Program announces events for June 25 and 26. A discussion and lecture on the book Shalom/Salaam is scheduled for June 25 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium. There will also be a screening and discussion of the film Out of Cordoba on June 26 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in H.R. Young Auditorium, Bey Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.

Monday, June 25, 2012 7-9:30 p.m. “Shalom/Salaam” Lecture and Discussion, Wilson Hall Auditorium

Shalom/Salaam: A Story of a Mystical Fraternity traces the virtually unknown story of Islamic mystical influence on the development of Jewish mysticism for over 1000 years. It explores how Jewish thinkers and mystics, from Moses Maimonides (d. 1204) in Egypt to the Kabbalists in Spain (13th century) and the Holy Land (15th century), turned to their Muslim cousins for spiritual inspiration, as well as specific manners of understanding the relationship with the Divine.

Shalom/Salaam was the first book written by Tom Block, and was published in both English and Turkish in 2010. He has published articles and delivered papers on the subject of the Jewish-Muslim mystical relationship at universities, conferences, mosques, and synagogues in the United States, Canada, Ireland and Egypt. His second book, “War as Love,” examining the interrelationship between religion and violence, will be published this fall by Algora Publishing (NY). His first play, “White Noise,” is being produced this June in Washington DC.

A discussion with the author will follow the lecture.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7-9:30 p.m. “Out of Cordoba” Film Screening, H.R. Young Auditorium, Bey Hall

“Out of Cordoba” explores the legacy of the Spanish city of Cordoba through the dramatic biographies of Averroes (Ibn Rushd) the Muslim, and Rabbi Moses Maimonides the Jew, the two leading personalities of medieval Islamic Spain, and its heritage of “convivencia.” Filmed in the United States, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, and ten years in the making, the award-winning film also explores contemporary relations between Muslims, Jews, and Christians, the popular uprisings for human rights in the Middle East, and the struggle against religious extremism and xenophobia.

Jacob Bender is a documentary filmmaker, video producer, photographer, graphic designer, and interfaith consultant. During a career spanning more than thirty years, Jacob has produced dozens of television, video, audiovisual, and radio programs, graphic and print projects, museums exhibitions, and educational programs. His clients have included a wide range of major corporations, such as American Express and Time Warner, and nonprofit organizations, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, NASA, The Baltimore Zoo, and the United States National Park Service.

A discussion with the film director will follow the screening.

These events are funded by Monmouth University and a group of generous Hollywood Golf Club members and are co-sponsored by Monmouth University’s Office of Global Initiatives, Monmouth Dialogue Project, and  Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought.

For further information, please contact: 732-571-4474.