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Living Questions: A Rabbi and a Priest on Bridging the Divides in Baltimore

Beth Am Synagogue/Memorial Episcopal Church

Time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. We’re producing this series in partnership with the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.

Tom's guests this afternoon are two young, dynamic clergy whose work in their congregations is informed by their commitment to social justice. They are not only spiritual leaders. They are also animating their largely white congregations around the issues that affect our majority African American city.

Daniel Cotzin Burg is the senior rabbi of Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill, just south of Druid Hill Park. The Rev. Grey Maggiano is the rector of Memorial Episcopal Church in the neighborhood that’s adjacent to Reservoir Hill to the south, Bolton Hill.

They live and work about a mile apart from each other, and this summer, they found themselves studying at the same time at Jerusalem's Shalom Hartman Institute, a leader in advancing religious pluralism, and elevating Jewish life in Israel and around the world. Rabbi Burg took part in the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative while -- coincidentally -- Father Maggiano was attending the Christian Leadership Initiative.

Jerusalem is a city of great significance to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. 

This afternoon, a conversation with Daniel Burg and Grey Maggiano about the work they did at Shalom Hartman, what they learned about each other’s faith traditions, and how the experience of this intensive period of study and reflection is informing their activism here in Baltimore.

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