Welcome to the

Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations

 

"... deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics through shared study since 1967."

The Story of the Institute

In 1965, the Second Vatican Council called for Catholics and Jews to join in “biblical and theological inquiry … and friendly discussions.” Almost at once the Jesuit community at Saint Joseph’s College founded the Institute – the first such response to the Council by an American Catholic college. They believed that rapprochement between Jews and Catholics was integral to the Catholic and Jesuit identity of Saint Joseph's and defined the mission of the Institute as increasing knowledge and deepening understanding between the two communities. Today, the Institute's professors teach courses on Christian-Jewish relations in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and partner nationally and globally to research Jewish and Christian reconciliation and reform. They promote opportunities for Christians and Jews to be study partners, teaching and learning about themselves and each other by studying and experiencing together texts, rituals, events, and places.

Our Next Programs

Jewish Views of the Religious "Other"

Jan 27 & Feb 10, 2020

University Professor Rabbi Abraham Skorka will discuss how Judaism views other religious traditions. Responses will be offered by faculty in the Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies.

Jan 27: Christianity (response by Dr. Philip Cunningham)

Feb 10: Islam & Religions of Asia (responses by Dr. Ummeye Isra Yazicioglu and Dr. David Carpenter)

[Details >]

Latest Video

Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka on the 10th anniversary of their book On Heaven and Earth

In this warm exchange, Rabbi Skorka notes how their book has become a model for interreligious dialogue. Pope Francis observes that a published book takes on a life of its own and calls for even more theological dialogue between Jews and Christians.

Institute News

Institute to Co-Sponsor Symposium with the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies in Rome

A Conversation that Changed History: The Meeting of Saint Pope John XXIII and Professor Jules Isaac, June 13, 1960

Sixty years ago this June, a half-hour meeting occurred that led directly to the birth of a new relationship between Jews and Catholics. To shed light on this immensely significant moment, the Institute and the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will co-sponsor an invitational research symposium on June 10-12, 2020.  The participating scholars will study the influence of Prof. Isaac’s research, his audience with “Good Pope John,” and current and future aspects of what Pope Francis has called “the journey of friendship” between Catholic and Jews. (more…)

Latest Essays by IJCR Professors

Philip A. Cunningham and Adam Gregerman: “‘Genuine Brotherhood without Remorse: A Commentary on Joseph Ratzinger’s “Comments on ‘De Iudaeis,’ Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 14/1 (December 2019).

Abraham Skorka, "What my friendship with Francis taught me about interfaith dialogue," America (February 2019)

Institute Memberships


The Institute is a founding member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR), a network of centers and institutes in the United States and Canada. The Council publishes the peer-reviewed, open-access online journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations.

The Institute cosponsors with the CCJR a library of resources in C-J relations called Dialogika ("things of dialogue"). The library provides documents from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and interfaith bodies; educational resources; and texts from the history of C-J relations.

Consortium of Holocaust Educators (CHE) of Greater PhiladelphiaThe Institute is a member of the Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia, which fosters communication and cooperation among regional organizations engaged in Holocaust awareness and education.

The Clifford Memorial Fund

Most of the Institute's many programs are funded by an endowment that honors the Institute's late director, the Rev. Donald G. Clifford, S.J., who directed its activities for over forty years. Please consider financially supporting our mission of deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics.

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