resource persons

Common Ground's resource persons (our faculty members) are, simply put, the best. All are experts in a variety of fields. All are exceptional teachers. 

Meet the faculty for the Spring-Summer 2016 season:
Jim Kenney, CG Executive Director, Doctoral work, Comparative Religions, Northwestern University; Executive Director, Common Ground; Project Coordinator, the International Interreligious Peace Council; author, Thriving in the Crosscurrent: Clarity and Hope in a Time of Cultural Sea Change
Linda Kimball, CG Administrator, former Executive Director, OASIS Chicago; Co-Owner/Director, Great Age Productions; Consultant on Not-for-Profit Management and Development; Licensed Real Estate Broker.

Laura Bernstein, MA, University of Chicago; rabbinical studies, Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf; leader and com- poser of interfaith chants; author of poetry and articles on spirituality; co-author of Healing the Jewish-Christian Rift. 

Herbert W. Bronstein, regular CG faculty; Senior Rabbi Emeritus, North Shore Congregation Israel; editor, Liturgies for the Reform Movement; lecturer, Lake Forest College; Shakespearean scholar; expert on religions. 

Chungliang Al Huang, one of our most popular (and wonderful) presenters; Tai Ji master, scholar, dancer, calligrapher, and a long-time friend of CG. For 10 consecutive years during the week of Joseph Campbell’s birthday (March 26th), Chungliang and Joseph co-led seminars called “MythBody To Live By” at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Both leaders confirmed that the Tai Ji Circles which Master Huang had created were indeed the Heroic Journeys about which Campbell had written in his classic book, The Hero with A Thousand Faces.  

Rosemary Hurwitz, MA, PS, Loyola University; twenty years experience in career consulting and in leading retreats for Discovery weekends; over ten years studying the Enneagram, certified in 2001. 

Kenneth James, regular CG faculty; diplomate Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice in Chicago; Ph.D., Northwestern University; Diploma in Analytical Psy- chology, C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago; currently the Director of Student Services at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. 

Carl Jerome, regular CG faculty; founding teacher, North Shore Meditation and Dharma Center; Lay Renunciate and Senior Dharma Teacher, Mid-America Buddhist Association; meditation teacher, Cancer Wellness Center, Northbrook. 

Anna Trumbore Jones, regular CG faculty; Associate Professor of History, Lake Forest College; author of Noble Lord, Good Shepherd: Episcopal Power and Piety in Aquitaine; current scholarship focuses on houses of canons in southwestern France. 

Jerrol Leitner, regular CG faculty; M.A., Theology, St. John University, Collegeville, MN; M.A., English, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL; retired; 40 years teaching English and Theology.

Evan Moffic, regular CG faculty; Stanford University; Hebrew Union College; Senior Rabbi, Congregation Solel. 

Jeffrey Nigro, M.A. Art History, the University of Vir- ginia; former Director of Adult Programs in the Depart- ment of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago; full-time staff lecturer in 1993, Senior Lecturer in 2000; frequent speaker at The Jane Austen Society and Chicago Symphony Orchestra pre-concert events; study leader on Art Institute tours of Italy, Greece, and Germany. 

John Nygro, musician, conductor, actor; lecturer on sub- jects from classical theater and opera to medieval and Ren- aissance music to film and television; presenter at North- western University, Newberry Library, Lyric Opera of Chicago Chapters, and Center for Life and Learning; reg- ular instructor on classical radio stations and National Public Radio. 

Ahmad Sadri, regular CG faculty; Ph.D., New School for Social Research; College Professor of Islamic World Studies, Lake Forest College; author of several books, in Per- sian and in English, including Max Weber’s Sociology of Individuals and his recent translation of the Shanameh (the Persian Book of Kings).

Pauline Viviano, regular CG faculty; Ph.D., Biblical Languages and Literature, St. Louis University; Associ- ate Professor of Theology, Loyola University, Chicago; recently completed a commentary on the Books of Jeremiah and Baruch for the new Collegeville Commentary Series. 

John Wasik, regular CG faculty; M.A., the University of Illinois-Chicago; author of 13 books including The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream; has lectured across the U.S. and has appeared on NBC, NPR, PBS, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX, etc.; his latest book is The Debt-Free Degree. 


The CG Staff

Jim Kenney, Co-Founder (with the late Ron Miller) of Common Ground, did his doctoral work in the History and Literature of Religions, at Northwestern University. ,He has served as CG's Executive Director since 1986.

He was a Trustee-Founder of the Parliament of the World's Religions and served as the organization's Global Director from 1995-2002. He is currently the Executive Director of the Interreligious Engagement Project (IEP21). He also serves as Project Coordinator for the International Interreligious Peace Council.

He is the author of Thriving in the Crosscurrent: Clarity and Hope in a Time of Cultural Sea Change.

Linda Kimball, Common Ground's Administrator.  is the former Executive Director of OASIS, Chicago. She is Co-Owner and Director of Great Age Productions. Linda also works as a consultant on not-for-profit management and development. She's a licensed real estate broker.

The CG Board

Common Ground is gifted with a remarkably skilled, experienced, and hard-working Board of Directors.
They are:
  • Tom Amos 
  • Marilyn Biederer
  • Darrell Bloom
  • Gloria Callaci
  • Mike Chakoian
  • Patricia Connery
  • Fran Kapp
  • Cetta Kenney
  • Jim Kenney
  • Jerry Leitner 
  • Lou Leitner 
  • Mike Levy 
  • Sheila Mahoney 
  • Jim Miller
  • Nancy Moe 
  • Marsha Ray 
  • Barbara Schwimmer
  • Susan Simonetti
  • Bob Steiner
  • Frank Wagenaar