RABBI ZALMAN SCHACHTER-SHALOMI, widely known as Reb Zalman, was one of the most creative and influential Jewish religious figures in recent decades, known for weaving together various strands of Eastern European Hasidism and American counter-culture to create the Jewish Renewal movement. Among the core elements of his Neo-Hasidic project was an innovative approach to interreligious cooperation. In his later years, he would come to describe this vision as “Deep Ecumenism.” Beginning in the late 1940’s, Reb Zalman began to participate in a series of personal and professional experiments in dialogue, shared ritual practice, and theological reflection that included transformative experiences with such Christian luminaries as Howard Thurman and Thomas Merton. By the time of his death, Reb Zalman was widely recognized as one of the great ecumenists of our time by many, including his much-celebrated friendship with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.

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