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 collaborate 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 Jewish and Catholic peoples. 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

When Christians Were Jews

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7–8:30 p.m.

A leading expert explores new scholarship that sees Jesus and Paul as faithful and Torah-observant Jews throughout their lives.

Dr. Paula Fredriksen is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and the Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University.

Latest Video

The Catholic Church and Israel

Part 3 of a three-part series.

Dr. Philip Cunningham, joined by Rabbi Dr. Ruth Sandberg and Dr. Adam Gregerman, discusses if the centrality of the Land of Israel for Jews has religious significance for Catholics.


Institute News

President Reed names Rabbi Abraham Skorka University Professor

Beginning fall 2018, the emeritus rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, will work closely with the Institute directors to advance its educational and research mission. Dedicated to interreligious understanding his entire career, he and Pope Francis recently explained how much their dialogues have personally meant to them in the video linked below.

"Fulfilling the Promise of a New Relationship" roundtable in 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.

Institute Memberships

The Institute is a founding member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, a network of centers and institutes in the United States and Canada.

The Institute cosponsors with the CCJR a library of resources in C-J relations called Dialogika ("things of dialogue").

Consortium of Holocaust Educators (CHE) of Greater Philadelphia

The Institute is a member of the Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia.

The Clifford Memorial Fund

A memorial endowment has been established in memory of the Institute's late director, the Rev. Donald G. Clifford, S.J., who directed its activities for over forty years. This endowment funds most of the Institute's many programs. Please consider supporting the mission of deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics.

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