College interfaith leaders to promote importance of religious understanding during event

Allison Egrin, president of Hillel at GVSU, will speak as the Jewish representative during the Abrahamic Dinner.
Allison Egrin, president of Hillel at GVSU, will speak as the Jewish representative during the Abrahamic Dinner.
Image credit - courtesy Kaufman Interfaith Institute

Encouraging the next generation of interfaith leaders around the world, and especially on college campuses, will be the focus of Grand Valley State University’s upcoming Abrahamic Dinner.

The event, sponsored by Grand Valley’s Kaufman Interfaith Institute, will take place February 20, from 6-8:30 p.m., at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (2250 East Paris Southeast) in Grand Rapids. 

Three local college students will share the perspectives of their individual traditions regarding transcending religious intolerance in order to foster greater interfaith understanding. This year’s Jewish representative will be Allison Egrin, a senior majoring in dance and marketing who serves as the president of Hillel at GVSU, a Jewish student organization on campus.

Egrin said it is an honor to represent the Jewish community as an interfaith leader.

“I think that promoting interfaith on college campuses is so crucial because I truly believe education is the best tool in reducing biases and hate,” she said. “There are so many different religions and cultures in the world, which is part of what makes humankind so beautiful, so it is imperative to gain insight into beliefs that are different from ours in order to create a more inclusive and understanding society.”

Other speakers include Allison LoPrete (Christian representative) from Hope College, and Tuba Jaherun (Muslim representative) from Calvin College.

Kyle Kooyers, Kaufman Interfaith Institute program manager, said the event will offer a profound opportunity to hear the perspectives of the next generation of interfaith leaders.

“Young adult leaders offer us much by way of tremendous energy, inspiring vision and prophetic voice,” said Kooyers. “If we, as members of the West Michigan community, listen and do likewise, our world would be deeply enriched.”

The advance registration deadline for the Abrahamic Dinner is February 15 and the cost is $10 per person, $5 for students. Attendees can also register on-site before the event. To register, visit the Kaufman Interfaith Institute website. 


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