Welcome to the

Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations


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

The Story of the Institute

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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 is directed by a Jewish professor and a Catholic professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. They regularly team-teach 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. This vision is enshrined in the original Joshua Koffman sculpture outside the university chapel, "Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time."

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Our Next Program

The Catholic-Jewish Rapprochement and the Fraying of American Pluralism

Monday, September 14, 2020, 7:00-8:30 pm

Today our country has seen increases in inter-ethnic polemics and violence, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and polarization. Can the recent Catholic and Jewish experience of rapprochement offer helpful lessons?

Guest Speaker with Rabbi Skorka: Rev. Dr. Walter F. Kedjierski is the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Latest Videos

Jewish Views of Islam & Religions of Asia

Rabbi Skorka discusses Jewish perspectives with Profs. Carpenter and Yazicioglu.

Jewish Views of Christianity

Rabbi Skorka describes evolving Jewish ideas about Christianity over time. A conversation with Profs. Cunningham, Gregerman, and Jacobitz follows.

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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