Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations

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The fall of 2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. Formally promulgated on October 28, 1965, it was the revolutionary document that made possible a new relationship of respect between Catholics and Jews. All our fall programs honor this historic milestone. All are free and open to the public, but the September 25th celebration of "50 Years of a Journey of Friendship" requires pre-registration. [Right: a Second Vatican Council session in St. Peter's Basilica.]

Second Vatican Council

50 Years of a Journey of Friendship

Friday, September 25, 2015 | 3 - 5 p.m.

Chapel of Saint Joseph - Michael J. Smith, SJ Memorial [campus map]


Anti-Defamation League Board of Rabbis
American Jewish Committee
World Meeting of Families Archdiocese of Philadelphia Jewish Federation

The Philadelphia Jewish and Catholic communities gather to celebrate The Golden Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council Declaration Nostra Aetate (October 28, 1965) and the establishment soon after of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations.  


Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka

Rabbi Abraham Skorka

Rector of the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires and Co-Author with Pope Francis of On Heaven and Earth, a book of their dialogues.

"In its most profound sense, to have a conversation is to bring one's soul nearer to another's in order to reveal and illuminate his or her core."

- Rabbi Abraham Skorka, 1995


Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time

The dedication of an original sculpture by Joshua Koffman

"Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time"

“Dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus’ disciples. There exists a rich complementarity between the Church and the Jewish people that allows us to help one another mine the riches of God’s word.”

- Pope Francis, 2013

For details and to reserve a seat, click HERE.


Jewish-Christian Relations for the Present Time

Sunday, October 11, 2015 | 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Haub Executive Suite, McShain Hall - 5th Floor [campus map]


The Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations is an ecumenical gathering of Christian academicians that first formed in 1969. Its fall 2015 meeting will be hosted by the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations. The CSG is preparing a statement from an ecumenical Christian perspective on the historic significance of Nostra Aetate's anniversary, which will be made public at this event. Join us as a panel of CSG members discusses the meaning of the Declaration for the wider Christian world and the challenges for the Christian-Jewish relationship in the future.  Further details to follow.


Some Unfinished Business of Nostra Aetate: Jewish and Christian Challenges

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 | 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Haub Executive Suite, McShain Hall - 5th Floor [campus map]

Fifty years after the revolution begun by Nostra Aetate, Judaism is still challenged to develop an accurate sympathetic understanding of the Christianity, while the Church has yet to come to grips with the Jewish people's return to Zion and the particularity of the Jewish people's covenant with God. How can we make a start on these important challenges?

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn is academic director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel, and co-director of CJCUC's Institute of Theological Inquiry. He has published more than 40 scholarly and popular essays on Jewish-Christian relations, Israel, and Jewish ethics, which have been translated into Hebrew, German, Spanish and Italian. He is the author or editor of several books including, The Jewish Connection to the Land of Israel, Jewish Theology and World Religions, Covenant and Hope: Christian and Jewish Reflections, and Ploughshares into Swords: Jewish and Christian Reflections on Religion and Violence.

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn

The “Wandering Jew” in the Jewish and Christian Imagination

Dr. Galit Hasan-Rokem

 Tuesday, December 1, 2015 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Haub Executive Suite, McShain Hall - 5th Floor [campus map]

Co-sponsored with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

The “wandering Jew”—doomed, according to legend, to roam the world until the end of days—was a powerful creation of the medieval imagination. As a derogatory image, it represented the idea that God had cursed Jews for their unbelief. However, the wanderer existed not only in the Christian mind but also, albeit differently, in Jewish folklore, art, and literature.

As we celebrate this year the 1965 Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate (which rejected the notion of the cursed and wandering Jew), Galit Hasan-Rokem unravels this multidimensional tradition that evolved over centuries of creative contact between Jews and Christians.

Galit Hasan-Rokem is a distinguished professor of folklore and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Author of many scholarly works including Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature and Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity, she is also a translator and poet, with several collections published in Hebrew.

Dr. Galit Hasan-Rokem

The journey continues in the spring of 2016! Revisit this page for further information.

Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph's University
Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., Director 610-660-1863 |
Adam Gregerman, Ph.D., Assistant Director 610-660-1878 |
Dori Pappas, Administrative Assistant 610-660-1593 |