Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin
Internationally-renowned educator, speaker, and author, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin changed the status quo of Jewish-Christian relations seven years ago by opening the first Orthodox Jewish center to dialogue with the Christian world . the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC). Through hosting tens of thousands of Christians at its headquarters in Efrat and sending staff lecturers to all four corners of the globe, the CJCUC is sending a message to the world that Judaism and Christianity can work together to turn a fragile and fragmented realm into a united global community committed to a God of love and peace.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, awarded the honor of Ambassador for Jewish-Christian Relations upon Rabbi Riskin, in recognition of his pioneering efforts in reconciliation between Jews and Christians. In addition, Rabbi Riskin was given the Interreligious Dialogue award by Pave the Way Foundation and was bestowed the title of Rabbinical Authority to Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a Christian Zionist organization with over 2 million members.
Rabbi Riskin is the founder and Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone institutions, one of the largest private educational networks in Israel with over 3,000 students on nine campuses. In addition, in 1983 Rabbi RIskin re-established the biblical city of Efrat, mentioned in the Book of Ruth, and helped cultivate the city’s growth to its current population of over 10,000 residents.
Rabbi Riskin earned his BA in Greek, Latin, and English Literature from Yeshiva University and his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He holds a Masters Degree in Jewish History, and in 1982 he was awarded his Ph.D. from New York University’s department of Near Eastern Languages and Literature.
As a weekly Bible commentator and contributor to the Jerusalem Post as well as other syndicated media outlets, Rabbi Riskin’s scriptural analysis has influenced both Jews and Christians to connect with G-d’s Word in a deeper and more meaningful way. In addition, he has published scores of articles and monographs on Judaism and contemporary issues, as well as on the Five Books of Moses. The Brooklyn-born Rabbi Riskin has been married to Vicky since 1963; the couple has four married children and sixteen grandchildren, all of whom live in Efrat.
A blogger for Charisma and Times of Israel and former columnist for the Jerusalem Post Christian edition, David Nekrutman currently serves as the Executive Director for The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat, Israel. In this capacity, Mr. Nekrutman is breaking new ground in leading the first ever Orthodox Jewish institution to dialogue with Christians on a religious and theological basis.
Prior to his work with CJCUC, Mr. Nekrutman served as the Director of Christian Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in New York. He was instrumental in the successful launching of The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, The Israel Experience, The Christian Jerusalem Day Banquet, and The Watchman on the Wall program with Reverend Robert Stearns of Eagles Wings, resulting in millions of Christians praying & supporting Israel and the Jewish people.
Prior to his calling in the field of Jewish-Christian relations, Mr. Nekrutman’s professional career ranged from working for the City Council of New York as a Legislative Analyst to e-marketing for a major high tech company in Israel. He received a Bachelors of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, Mr. Nekrutman was accepted into Oral Roberts University’s Theology program, taking a Masters of Arts in Biblical Literature with a concentration in Judaic-Christian Studies.
Mr. Nekrutman resides in Netanya with his wife and three sons.