Fairfield University Appoints Two New Chaplains, Muslim and Jewish

Fairfield University Appoints Two New Chaplains, Muslim and Jewish

Kemal Cecunjanin,  Jay Glover, and James Prosnit

(From left to right) Kemal Cecunjanin, Rev. Jay Glover, and Rabbi James Prosnit.

Rabbi James Prosnit Announced as Jewish Chaplain and Imam Kemal Cecunjanin Named Muslim Chaplain

As Fairfield strives for greater inclusive excellence in student life as well as academics, it’s so important that students from other faith traditions as well as Catholics are able to find a spiritual home here.

— Rev. Mark Scalese, S.J.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rabbi Jim Prosnit and Imam Kemal Cecunjanin to our Campus Ministry staff. Together with Rev. Jay Glover, we now have campus ministers to address the spiritual needs of our Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant students,” stated Rev. Mark Scalese, S.J., director of Campus Ministry at Fairfield University. “As Fairfield strives for greater inclusive excellence in student life as well as academics, it’s so important that students from other faith traditions as well as Catholics are able to find a spiritual home here.”

Rabbi James Prosnit received his BA from Ohio Wesleyan University and MA degrees from New York University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where he currently serves on the Board of Governors. He was ordained from HUC-JIR in New York in 1981 and received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2006. He currently serves on HUC–JIR’s President's Council and is chair of the Rabbinic Alumni Association. 

Since 1990 Rabbi Prosnit has also been an adjunct lecturer in the Religious Studies Department at Fairfield University and is a member of the advisory board of the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield. Active in community service, Rabbi Prosnit is co-chair of the Bridgeport Prospers Collective Impact Leadership Team, organized by the United Way. He is past president and a current board member of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, and a past chair of Operation Hope, a homeless shelter and social service agency in Fairfield.

Imam Kemal Cecunjanin is currently an Eli Whitney Scholar at Yale University, pursuing a BA in Near Eastern languages and civilizations, and Arabic and Islamic studies. In 1999, he traveled to the Middle East and studied Arabic at the University of Damascus, Syria. He then moved to Amman, Jordan, where he completed the Classical Arabic program at the Qasid Institute for Classical and Modern Standard Arabic. He also studied jurisprudence, theology, Arabic, sufism, exegesis, and hadith. Later he moved to Tarim, Yemen and attended classes at Dar Al-Mostafa Institute for Islamic Studies. He is fluent in English, Arabic, and Serbo-Croatian.

A teacher and mentor to students at the Muslim Education and Converts Center of America (MECCA) in New York City, Imam Cecunjanin is also a lecturer at the Islamic Community of Fairfield County, a mosque in Monroe, Conn. In universities, communities, and places of worship throughout New York and Connecticut, he is a frequent guest lecturer on topics relating to Islamic ethics and culture.  He formerly served as Imam at the Masjib Al-Noor mosque in Bridgeport, where he was the director and founder of the Iqra Qur'an recitation program.

For more information about Campus Ministry, visit fairfield.edu/campusministry.

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Last modified: 11-09-18 12:07 PM

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