American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) and the University of Cincinnati Press will present an evening with biblical scholar Dr. Andrea L. Weiss, author of American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.  Dr. Weiss’s book is one of the first publications to be published by the University of Cincinnati’s recently established press.

The free community event will be held at the AJA— located on the historic Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220, in the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati’s International Learning Center. The evening will begin with a reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.; followed by Professor Weiss’s presentation.  At the program’s conclusion, the author will sign books for the public.

“The Marcus Center is pleased to co-host this event featuring Dr. Weiss, who has brilliantly curated this compilation of letters addressing emergent issues pertaining to the nation’s core values, religions and politics,” said Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the AJA and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. “This extraordinary and inspiring collection of letters from 100 religious scholars is poised to ignite a vigorous national dialogue about the guiding principles of our country and the connection to our diverse religious traditions.”

After the 2016 presidential election, American Values, Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters author Andrea L. Weiss teamed up with graphic designer Lisa M. Weinberger to create an “innovative volume” that addresses the concerns over the deep divisions in our country. While looking for ways to respond, many Americans turned to their respective religious leaders for guidance. These 100 letters —addressed to the president, vice president, and members of the 115th Congress and Trump administration—were written by some of America’s most accomplished and thoughtful scholars of religion.

This event is FREE and open to the community, but space is limited. RSVPs are requested. Please call Susan Boyce at 513.487.3000 or email

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, founded in 1947 by its namesake on the historic campus of the Hebrew Union College‐Jewish Institute of Religion, is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social and family life of American Jewry. The Marcus Center contains over 15,000 linear feet of archives, manuscripts, near-print materials, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials.


The religious scholars who authored the 100 letters in the volume are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh—individuals who represent the full spectrum of each faith tradition. The Christian scholars are Catholic, Evangelical, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Orthodox, Mormon, and Quaker. The Jewish authors come from the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Orthodox Jewish communities. Contributors are rabbis, ministers, a Buddhist nun and a Catholic Sister, ordained clergy and active laypeople in houses of worship nationwide.

The contributing scholars approached this project from their individual perspectives as Americans, some as African Americans, Latinas and Latinos, Asians, Native American, people of color from around the world. They wrote from their unique sense of self, some as gay women and men, parents and grandparents, activists, immigrants, teachers, people trying in various ways to make a difference in the world.

These 100 scholars hail from twenty-one states and the District of Columbia—teaching at sixty-eight different institutes of higher learning, from large universities, to small liberal arts colleges, to seminaries across the country. Other letter writers lead organizations like the Forum for Theological Exploration, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Hindu American Foundation, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

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