IIT Chicago-Kent and UIC’s “Shari’a and Halakha in America” conference to address the challenges faced by both Jewish and Muslim legal systems

Professor Michael J. Broyde will deliver the keynote address on the first day of IIT Chicago-Kent and UIC's conference on Shari'a and Halakha in America.

Michael J. Broyde, professor of law and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, will deliver the keynote address on the first day of  “Shari’a and Halakha in America,” a free two-day conference co-hosted by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Professor Broyde will address the topic “Suggestions for Shari’a Courts Based on the Precedent of the Beth Din of America.”

The conference will be held on April 15 at IIT Chicago-Kent, 565 West Adams Street, and on April 16 at UIC’s Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan Street, in Chicago.

Professor Broyde earned his law degree from New York University and is ordained as a rabbi by Yeshiva University. He is a member of the Beth Din of America, the largest Jewish law court in this country. Professor Broyde is also the founding rabbi of the Young Israel synagogue in Atlanta, and a founder of the Atlanta Torah MiTzion kollel study program. He has published more than 75 articles on various aspects of law and religion, Jewish law, and federal courts.

“Shari’a and Halakha in America” is the first U.S. conference to address the challenges faced by both Jewish and Muslim legal systems, and to invite people from these two traditions to learn from one another’s experience. The conference will also explore how liberal democracies can and should accommodate legal systems that are not themselves originally grounded on liberal or democratic principles. Conversely, participants will discuss to what degree these systems can or should adapt themselves to a liberal democratic environment. A variety of Shari’a and Halakha perspectives will be examined.

Speakers include professors of law and religion, some of whom have served on Jewish or Muslim courts, as well as journalists and activists. Presenters include New York Times columnist and Columbia University journalism professor Samuel Freedman; Wajahat Ali, attorney, playwright and new media journalist; Rabbi Asher Lopatin, incoming president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah; University of Toronto law professor Mohammed Fadel; Eboo Patel, founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core; and Suzanne Stone, professor of Jewish law, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

The conference is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. To register or for more information, please visit the conference website, email huminst@uic.edu, or call 312.996.6354.

The program is co-sponsored by IIT Chicago-Kent, with support from the Jack Miller Center, and the Jewish-Muslim Initiative and the Institute for the Humanities at UIC.