The IJCU seeks to enhance mutual understanding among Jews and Christians through interpersonal and intellectual learning, encounters and dialogue. It serves the Muhlenberg College campus community, the wider Lehigh Valley community and clergy and congregations in the region and beyond.
Services and programs of the Institute include the Living-Room Dialogue program (hundreds of local lay persons have grown in their own faith through participating in this program); consultation and teaching tailored to agency/congregational needs; monthly programs such as the First Friday luncheon discussion series and the Clergy Colloquy; annual programs such as Youth & Prejudice: Reducing Hatred Conference for Middle School and High School students, Minicourse, Day of Dialogue, Clergy Workshop, campus/community observance of Kristallnacht and Wallenberg Tribute and lecture; and occasional topical forums on issues in Jewish-Christian relations.
More than 20,000 area students have been involved in the Youth and Prejudice program, helping them learn the vocabulary and dynamics of prejudice so that it can be counteracted in their own settings.
The IJCU is a trusted partner for building understanding between Jews and Christians and has been a vital participant in the local Jewish community for nearly 20 years. Most often, those who take part in the programs find that they learn at least as much about their own faith and community as they do about another.