Series uniquely combines religious and multi-secular perspective on headline news and topical issues
UPDATED March 5, 2018 – NEWARK, NJ — NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, announced that the next new episode of its unique multi-faith local series, A Matter of Faith with a Bishop, an Imam and a Rabbi, will air Wednesday, March 7 at 8:30pm. The series, hosted by Bishop Mark Beckwith, Imam W. Deen Shareef and Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz, examines today’s headlining news through the unique lens of three major religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
The new half-hour episode tackles the topic of intersectionality, the complex cumulative manner in which the effects of different forms of discrimination and oppression combine, overlap or intersect and affect public discourse and advocacy.
Explains Bishop Beckwith in the program, “To some people today the term ‘intersectionality’ has taken on a divisive connotation. It appears that many special interest organizations now have a kind of litmus test for people they welcome into their fold or have relationships with. If you don’t support 100% of their initiatives then you’re against them. Conversations then become a quest for dominance. Leaving little, if any, space for compromise or understanding.”
To discuss this topic, the hosts are joined by two guests in this episode whose lives and work are affected by intersectionality every day: Dr. Brittney Cooper and Seffi Kogen, who speak to the issue from the vantage points of the Black and Jewish communities and the role that stereotypes play in proliferating intersectionality today.
Dr. Brittney Cooper is professor of Women’s and Gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University and author of a new book about political emotion and advocacy, Eloquent Rage. In the program she speaks to political activism and racial stereotypes.
“The work of solidarity is complex and by its nature solidarity means we don’t agree on every issue but we have strategic reasons to make alliances so that we will be more powerful,” says Cooper in the program. “I do think we have to think about cross cutting issues in communities and how we could have tougher conversations.”
Seffi Kogen is the director of campus affairs for the American Jewish Committee overseeing the organization’s activities on college campuses across the United States and around the world. He also oversees AJC’s leaders for tomorrow program for high school students that equips young Jews with advocacy skills and empowers them to be Jewish advocates on their college campuses.
“The issue with intersectionality for my work, in particular, is a question of when Jewish students are kept out of certain circles on campus because of intersectionality,” says Kogen in the program. “There’s a certain checklist of progressive causes and though Jewish students may check off many of those, Jews, after all, being one of the most liberal constituencies in the United States today because of their Judaism, because of the support for the State of Israel that that religion entails, they are often told that they’re not really wanted in circles combating police oppression or sexual violence, etc.”
Post-discussion, the Bishop, the Imam and the Rabbi close each episode with individual sermons or benedictions for broader perspective on the issues.
“There’s never been a better time to present a series that brings so many world views to the table and opens intelligent discourse about important topics,” said NJTV General Manager John Servidio. “And there is no other local show quite like it on the air with such diverse religious perspectives.”
A Matter of Faith with A Bishop, An Imam and A Rabbi is produced by Public Media NJ, Inc. John Servidio is Executive is Charge and Mike Kostel is Executive Producer.
The series debuted in 2017; watch previous episodes here: https://www.njtvonline.org/programs/matter-faith-bishop-imam-rabbi/
The next new episode of the series will air on April 4 on NJTV (check local listings). Find out where to watch NJTV here.
Support for A Matter of Faith with A Bishop, An Imam and A Rabbi is provided in part by the William & Mary Greve Foundation, Esme Usdan and the Lemberg Foundation, Ross Wisnewski and George Reeves, and by these funders: Madeline and Charles Dreifus and Donald and Margery Karp.
Bishop Mark Beckwith, Imam W. Deen Shareef and Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz are joined by guests Seffi Kogen and Dr. Brittney Cooper to discuss the topic of intersectionality