Parenting a 9-month-old girl doesn't leave my wife and me much time to attend Jewish events, but we knew we had to make it to the LDS Visitors Center in Los Angeles last month to hear BYU professor Donald Parry deliver yet another fascinating presentation on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I've heard him make these presentations before, and each one seems to get better and better.
Attendees on this special evening included regional leaders of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the LDS Church. The two groups have been reaching out to each other ever since former Rabbi Gary Greenebaum headed the regional AJC office; now that Rabbi Mark Diamond is in charge, I have no doubt that our communities will continue to strengthen and deepen our ties. The genesis for the evening was a trip that several LA-based AJC leaders made to Salt Lake City last year. They and their Mormon hosts brainstormed about how to bring Jews and Mormons together, and Dr. Parry was happy to help out the cause.
During the reception afterwards, we talked to several Jewish attendees who were very complimentary about the presentation and our church. I've been saying for years that Jews and Mormons have a lot to say to each other, and I'm grateful to the the event organizers for providing us a forum to do just that. Yasher koach, Professor Parry.