The Department of Religion has been endowed with two funds, the Abbie Ziffren Fund and the David and Sherry Berz Fund, that support annual lecture events. Past speakers have covered wide-ranging and current topics including Muslim life in America in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, religious views on life on other planets, Jewish and Christian views on the biblical commandment to love one’s neighbor and much more.
Abbie Ziffren Annual Lecture
Rabbi Shai Held delivered the 2019 Abbie Ziffren Lecture at the GW Religion Department.
Abbie Ziffren was a professor in the Religion Department in the 1980s and 1990s, and she was a committed Jew as well as a devoted activist in progressive social causes. The annual lecture is named in her honor.
Past Ziffren Lectures
- 2023: Ruth Ozeki
- 2022: Rebecca Todd Peters
- 2021: Eman Quotah
- Fall 2019: Jill Hicks-Keeton and Cavan Concannon
- Spring 2019: Shai Held
- 2018: Elizabeth Bucar
- 2017: Thupten Jinpa
- 2016: Film screening, Rosenwald
- 2015: Amy Eilberg and Aziz Abu Sarah
David and Sherry Berz Lecture
The David and Sherry Berz Endowed Lecture is made possible by a gift from David Berz, BA ’70, JD ’73, and Sherry Berz, BA ’72, MA ’73
Past Berz Lectures
- 2020: Shankar Nair
- 2019: Ken Knoespel
- 2018: Ayaz Virji
- 2017: David and Sherry Berz graciously allowed the Religion Department to use the endowment for the annual lectureship in their name to support a one-day conference on the subject of religion and environment.
- 2016: Conference, “Sunnis and Shi’ites in Historical Perspective: Differences and Commonalities”
- 2015: Panel event co-sponsored with the GW Confucius Institute, “Religion in Contemporary China”