New York, NY, February 14, 2014 … A rabbi, educator and scholar who has led interreligious efforts on behalf of the Reform Judaism movement and has spearheaded Catholic-Jewish dialogue in Chicago has been appointed the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Director of Interfaith Affairs.
Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, Ph.D., who most recently served as a Senior Advisor on Interreligious Affairs for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will be responsible for the League’s interfaith outreach efforts both nationally and in New York.
“Rabbi Sandmel has a proven track-record of building positive interfaith relations between Jewish and other religious groups through programming, education and dialogue,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “America is more religiously diverse than ever, and there is a real need to continue building bridges of mutual understanding and common values between and among faiths. We are delighted to have someone of Rabbi Sandmel’s deep experience and knowledge to lead our interreligious efforts nationally.”
Rabbi Sandmel formally has joined ADL on a part-time basis as of February 3. He will move to full-time status starting in June once he has relocated from Chicago to New York City. His office will be based in the League’s National Headquarters in Manhattan.
At the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center since 2012, Rabbi Sandmel advised Reform movement leadership on interreligious affairs, in responding to current events and interfacing with counterparts in Jewish and non-Jewish communal organizations. He has represented the movement at national and international interreligious gatherings and assisted the movement, its rabbis and congregations with interfaith programming.
Rabbi Sandmel is the Crown-Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he has taught courses on Jewish Views of Jesus, Second Temple and Rabbinic Literature, and Abraham’s Children, which he team taught with a Roman Catholic theologian and a Muslim imam. He has co-led interfaith travel courses in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and is the author of a number of publications on Jewish history, Judaism, and the Jewish relationship with Christianity, Catholicism and other faiths.
He has served on the boards of a variety of communal organizations, including the Central Conference of American Rabbis, where since 2001 he has chaired its Committee on Interfaith Activities. He is a longtime representative to the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, and chairs the Catholic-Jewish Scholars Group co-sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and the Jewish Federation/Jewish United fund of Chicago.
Rabbi Sandmel earned his doctorate in Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on the History and Literature of Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman World. He received his Rabbinic Ordination and Masters in Hebrew Literature from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Ohio State University.