Abrahamic Faiths Panel

Abrahamic Faith Poster

Speaker Biographies:

Rabbi Neal Gold – Speaking on Judaism

Rabbi Neal Gold

Rabbi Neal Gold has been the Senior Rabbi of Temple Shir Tikva since July 2005. He arrived at Shir Tikva with a wealth of experience after eight years as Associate Rabbi of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ.

Rabbi Gold is committed to building and maintaining a Jewish Sacred Community at Shir Tikva. As he explains, “A Jewish Sacred Community is a community embodied on traditional Jewish priorities, including the study of Torah, performing Mitzvot, worshipping God and doing acts of kindness, social justice and peacemaking.  In that context, every individual is valued for the unique gifts that he or she brings and is encouraged to grow spiritually by discovering his or her special niche in communal life.”

The Rabbi has been involved with creating meaningful interfaith projects and is an active leader of the Wayland  Clergy Association. For many years, he served proudly on the board of the Ziv Tzedakah Fund and is a founding board member of the Kavod Tzedakah Collective.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis and the President’s Council of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Gold was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997 and graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. He and his wife, Heidi, have two sons, Avi and Jeremy, both students at The Rashi School. Rabbi Gold enjoys fishing, writing, skiing, reading and highly amplified music.

Joseph T. Kelley, Ph.D., D.Min. – Speaking on Christianity

521_joekelley_finJoseph Kelley is Associate Professor in Religious and Theological Studies at Merrimack College where he also directs the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. He has served the college as Provost and Vice-President, and is a clinical psychologist. Kelley is the author of five books, including Saint Augustine of Hippo: Selection from Confessions and Other Essential Writings (SkyLight Paths Publications, 2010) and What Are They Saying About Augustine? (Paulist Press, 2014), and three other books in Christian theology. He and his wife Alina live in Methuen, Massachusetts, and enjoy their two adult children who have moved out of the house—mostly.

Celene Ayat Lizzio – Speaking on Islam

celene-ayat-lizzioCelene Ayat Lizzio is Islamic Studies Scholar-in-Residence and Co-Director of the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College

Ms. Lizzio is a Faculty Associate of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, a lecturer in Islamic studies at Episcopal Divinity School, and Co-Director of the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College. She earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Harvard Divinity School in Islamic Studies and completed a bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department. Ms. Lizzio has published widely and has been recognized as a Harvard Presidential Scholar and a fellow in Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations at Princeton University, among other distinctions.

Ms. Lizzio has written numerous articles on themes related to interreligious relations, Islamic family law, feminist theory, women’s religious leadership, and Islamic Higher Education. Her recent publications include: “Religion, Gender, and Family Law: Critical Perspectives on Integration for European Muslims,” in Muslim Family Law in Western Societies, and “Women’s Leadership in North American Islam,” in Religious Leadership, as well as a study on women’s ritual purity in Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians. Her essays and editorials appear in a variety of publications including in Studies in Interreligious Dialogue and the Journal of Muslim World Affairs, and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women.