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 Winter 2019 season:

Jim Kenney, CG Executive Director, Executive Director, Common Ground; former Global Director, Parliament of the World’s Religions and Project Coordinator, the 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 composer 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.


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 psuchoanalyst in private practice; Ph.D., Northwestern University; Diploma in Analytical Psychology, C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago.

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


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.

Pamela Mayers, MA in Reading Instruction and Guidance and Counseling, Northeastern Illinois University; Ed.D, National-Louis University; 38 years teaching at elementary and college level; Certified Guided Autobiography Instructor.


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 Persian 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; Associate 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 his latest, Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla.

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.

  • Tom Amos 
  • Marilyn Biederer
  • Gloria Callaci
  • Mike Chakoian
  • Patricia Connery
  • Carol Ingall
  • Fran Kapp
  • Cetta Kenney (Vice President)
  • Jim Kenney
  • Linda Kimball (Administrator/, Board Secretary)
  • Jerry Leitner 
  • Lou Leitner 
  • Mike Levy 
  • Sheila Mahoney 
  • Jim Miller
  • Nancy Moe 
  • Cathy O'Brien (President)
  • Maurice Pickard
  • Marsha Ray 
  • Barbara Schwimmer
  • Susan Simonetti (Treasurer)
  • Bob Steiner
  • Pauline Viviano
  • Frank Wagenaar