Interfaith learning with Jewish scholar of Christian Bible in NOLA, Miss.

Amy Jill-Levine, a self-described “Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt,” will be the featured speaker at two scholar in residence weekends, in New Orleans and Greenwood, Miss.

Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences in Nashville. Her books include “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus” and “The Meaning of the Bible: What The Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us.”

She will be the 2014 Usdin Lecturer at Temple Sinai in New Orleans, in conjunction with Trinity Episcopal Church. On Dec. 12 she will speak at the 6:15 p.m. Shabbat service at Sinai, discussing “Hearing Jesus’ Parables as Jewish Stories: Pearls, Pharisees, and Tax Collectors.”

On Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. she will speak on “How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently,” in a 6 p.m. program at the home of Joan and Julian Feibelman, Jr. Space is limited and reservations are requested to Temple Sinai.

On Dec. 14 she will speak at Trinity’s morning services, discussing “The Prodigal Son: Hearing the Parable through Jewish Ears” at 9 a.m. and “The Good Samaritan as a Jewish Story” at 10:30 a.m.

The Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Greenwood is partnering with Ahavath Rayim and the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi for a weekend with Amy Jill-Levine entitled “Jesus and Judaism: Why the Connection Matters.”

The weekend will begin with a Shabbat service at Ahavath Rayim, a “traditional” congregation that is the last historically-Orthodox congregation in the state. Rabbi Jeremy Simons from the Institute of Southern Jewish Life will conduct the 6:15 p.m. service on Jan. 16. Afterward, Levine will speak on “How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently.”

There will be three sessions at the Church of the Nativity on Jan. 17, starting with breakfast at 8:45 a.m. “Hearing the Christmas Story through Jewish Ears” will be at 9:15 a.m., followed by “Hearing the Parables through Jewish Ears” at 11 a.m.

Lunch from the Delta Bistro will be available for $14, pre-registration is required.

At 1:15 p.m. Levine will lead a session on “Understanding Jesus in His Jewish Context.” This session is intended for those who teach, preach and study the Christian Bible.

On Jan. 18 at 10:30, Levine will deliver the sermon at the Church of the Nativity’s Eucharist service.

The Jan. 17 seminar is free, but donations are encouraged. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Alluvian Hotel, which is across from the church and five blocks from Ahavath Rayim.