With the mandate to assist and enhance the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation’s (CJCUC) relations with the Christian communities in North America, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin has appointed Dr. Mike Cohen as the first “CJCUC Traveling Scholar.” Dr. Cohen has served as CJCUC’s Israel faculty member since the Center’s establishment in 2008. He has taken leave of his position at Bar-Ilan University’s Overseas Program in Israel to accept this appointment.
Since Rabbi Riskin’s appearances on Glenn Beck TV during the Restoring Courage events in Israel, the number of Christian clergy and leaders wishing to bring the Rabbi’s message of a Religion of Peace to their congregants has risen dramatically. “I am honored to serve Rabbi Riskin’s vision and help in a small way to facilitate a new dawn in relations between Christians and Jews,” Cohen said. “At a time when Israel appears to be isolated on the international stage, we have learned that Christians worldwide have come to be our stalwart supporters. It is imperative for both ancient biblical faith communities to join hands and bring a prayer of peace and friendship to the world.”
With over two decades of experience in the development of relationships between Christian and Jews, as a political and security strategist, and a veteran officer in Israel’s elite counter-terrorism forces, Dr. Cohen “brings a unique perspective about what the Restoration of Zion means in biblical, theological and modern day terms,” Rabbi Riskin remarked. During Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, Dr. Cohen was assigned as an IDF reserve officer to the National Emergency Response & Negotiation Team in Bethlehem tasked with handling the multifaceted and potentially explosive crisis surrounding the Church of the Nativity’s seizure by terrorists.
“Dr. Cohen and I are friends from our days at the Israeli Consulate in New York, where we both served in different ministries fostering relationships between Israel and the North American Christian communities,” CJCUC’s Executive Director David Nekrutman said. He added, “This appointment gives CJCUC a huge opportunity to expand our network into Asia and Europe, while Dr. Cohen continues to advance the relations in North America that I have developed over the last four years.”
Cohen is the editor of Ordinary People Extraordinary Spirit and he is now working on a project that will highlight the non-Jewish contributions to the rebirth of the Jewish State. To book Dr. Cohen at your place of worship, please contact CJCUC at 516-882-3220.