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 Program

Fulfilling the Promise of a New Relationship: A Pubic Roundtable on Covenant and the Land

Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 7–9 p.m.

This evening will provide a "fishbowl" session of part of the Institute's four-day international conference (see News below). Dr. Gavin D'Costa will present on "Catholic Theology and the Promise of the Land as part of the Jewish Covenant" and Dr. Amy-Jill Levine will give a response. The conference participants and all present will continue the discussion.

Amy-Jill Levine
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee

Gavin D'Costa
University of Bristol
United Kingdom


Latest Videos

Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Dialogue between Christians and Other Religions: What Can They Learn from Each Other? 

Rev. Dr. Peter C. Phan on the theological prospect of a “special” relationship between God and other religions and of applying the patterns of the Jewish-Christian dialogue to the interreligious dialogue between Christianity and all religions.

When Christians Were Jews

Dr. Paula Fredriksen describes the 1st-century Jewish missionaries of Jesus who believed they were humanity's last generation. But in history's eyes they became the first Christians.

Institute News

Announcing a Spring Series, "Issues that Divide Our Society: Rabbinic Perspectives"

featuring Rabbi Abraham Skorka

On three consecutive Monday evenings, Feb. 18, 25, and Mar. 4, University Professor Rabbi Abraham Skorka will draw upon the treasury of rabbinic wisdom to shed light on some of the divisive issues of our time.  [details]


Fulfilling the Promise of a New Relationship roundtable set for Jan 2019

In 2019, the Institute will host 22 scholars from several nations for a four-day conference to study major topics in Christian-Jewish relations, including identity and borders, mission, covenant, fulfillment, and the world religions. Nearly sixty proposals were received in response to the Institute's call for papers last October. A public session will occur on January 10, 2019.

Latest Essays by the Institute's Directors

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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