Fellow Spotlight: Faydra Shapiro
Philos Project | November 21, 2017
Faydra Shapiro is an Associate Fellow at the Philos Project. Faydra cultivates deep interfaith relationships and true understanding between Christians and Jews in Israel.
Who is Faydra?
Faydra Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew with a lifelong interest in Christianity. She is the founding director of the Israel Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, and holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. Faydra began her career as a university professor in Canada in a department of Religion and Culture, where she worked for 13 years. Her first book won a National Jewish Book Award in 2006. Faydra also writes regular academic articles and popular op-eds on Jewish-Christian relations, and is passionate about her mission of creating greater understanding between Jews and Christians. She has a special heart for growing greater consciousness in Israel of the region’s persecuted minorities. Her most recent book is Christian Zionism: Navigating the Jewish-Christian Border. Faydra was born in Canada, and proudly returned her family to their ancestral homeland of Israel in 2008. She lives happily with her husband and many children in a tiny hilltop community in the Galilee.
Most Christians don’t understand Judaism, and most Jews don’t understand Christianity. Faydra Shapiro founded the Israel Center for Jewish-Christian Relations to foster understanding and exchange between the two religions within the Holy Land. She routinely speaks to groups visiting Israel, and teaches classes on what the religions share and how they differ. She regularly writes both for the Philos Project blog, and for various outlets in Israel.
One aspect of Faydra’s work at the Israel Center for Jewish-Christian Relations is the Israel Engagement Program, a joint project of the Center and the Philos Project. The program brings Christian college students to Israel for semester to teach English in local Jewish and Arab Christian high schools, learn Hebrew, engage with Israel’s culture, and receive rigorous training in Jewish-Christian relations.
Why it’s important
Christianity and Judaism have common roots and shared scripture, yet historical experience has led us to a place of separation, suspicion and misunderstanding. Education and mutual understanding are key to building positive engagement in the region.