Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. Institute for Religious Freedom at the George Washington University

Before the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion in the U.S., President George Washington was an early advocate for religious minorities. In his 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island Washington assured the community that the new nation would not tolerate religious bigotry and pledged safety to religious minorities. Historians say Washington’s letter was a clarion call that paved the way for the First Amendment in 1791.

President Washington’s legacy as a champion of religious freedom and the inclusion of all faiths will be sustained through the establishment of the Loeb Institute at GW. The institute, formerly called the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, is now housed at GW through the philanthropy of Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. and the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom.

The Loeb Institute will foster dialogue on religious understanding and the separation of church and state, and serve as a center for academic collaboration in religion, peace studies, history, political science and other programs for scholars, students, educators and the public.

Since 2009, the New York City-based George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, which Ambassador Loeb founded, has offered educational programs based in New York and Newport, Rhode Island, and has partnered with civic organizations to reach tens of thousands of students. Those educational programs will now take place at GW.

Spotlight

Religious Freedom and U.S Foreign Policy

The Loeb Institute for Religious Freedom and the George Washington University Museum & the Textile Museum are delighted to welcome Samuel D. Brownback,U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, to deliver the talk on "Religious Freedom and US foreign policy", celebrating the opening of the Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms Exihibt at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.

First President, First Freedom: Religious Freedom and Washington’s Election

A Conference Sponsored by the Loeb Institute for Religious Freedom and the Museum of the Bible on "First President, First Freedom: Religious Freedom and Washington’s Election".

The Political Theology of Martin Luther King Jr

This event consists of panels conducted through the day. Topics considered include MLK’s theological training and perspective, his role in and criticisms of American civil religion, and his views on foreign affairs.

With the Embassy Move to Jerusalem, a Biblical Trump?

Op-ed by Samuel Goldman on why evangelicals compare Pres. Trump to an ancient Persian king. 

Podcast: Samuel Goldman on Religion, State, and the Jews

Listen to Director Samuel Goldman's discussion with The Tikvah Fund about religious freedom and the complex history of the separation of church and state in America.

Loeb Institute Opening Ceremony

GW recently honored Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. and celebrated the establishment of the Loeb Institute.

Film Screening and Discussion

We are delighted to welcome Zareena Grewal , filmmaker and professor at Yale University, who will discuss her new documentary, By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam.

Events

October
03
Thursday
12:00pm—2:00pm
November
12
Tuesday
12:00am
November
10
Sunday
12:00am
November
12
Tuesday
12:00am

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