A seven-figure grant from The MirYam Institute will help establish Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR) new program named the MirYam Project in International Ethics & Leadership: Law, Religion, Health & Security.

This endeavor entails a four-year partnership between the CSLR’s Jewish Legal Studies Program and The MirYam Institute. The MirYam Institute is a forum for premier authorities to engage in dialogue about the state of Israel and its affairs. Ira Bedzow, director of The MirYam Institute Project in International Ethics & Leadership, and Professor of Law Michael J. Broyde will lead the project.

Ira Bedzow (left) and Michael J. Broyde (right). Photos Courtesy of Emory University

Through mentorship opportunities, travel to Israel and encounters with leading American and Israeli specialists in their fields, the program aims to create future leaders across a variety of sectors, including industry, healthcare, politics, public service and community.

CSLR Director John Witte welcomed the program in an Oct. 21 University press release. He stated that the program will “provide pathbreaking new scholarship and campus-wide leadership on fundamental questions of law, religion ethics, health care, security, and the human condition.”

Broyde described these issues as unified in terms of applying ethics and leadership. 

“The topics that we wish to address all weave a tapestry of ethical leadership,” Broyde said. “Together [they] present a model of how ethics and leadership work in a variety of fields.”

This collaboration was born in part out of Bedzow’s close connections to Emory. He obtained his PhD in religion from Emory under the direction of Broyde, who described Bedzow as “the best graduate student” he has ever had. 

“Sometimes you encounter students and you say to yourself ‘Oh, what I really want to do is spend my whole life working with them,’” Broyde said. “Luckily enough, we procured a grant on ethical leadership that was designed to bring him back to Emory University.”

Bedzow was similarly excited to work with his former mentor. When he was offered the chance to work with Broyde, Bedzow said he “realized very quickly that it was an opportunity that doesn’t come every day.”

He also expressed delight at the prospect of returning to work with the University. 

“Personally, I jumped in with both feet because I love Emory,” Bedzow said. “The culture’s amazing, the people are wonderful and I just enjoy being here every day.”