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 Programs

Webinar: Moving toward Mutuality: Five Plus Decades on the Catholic-Jewish “Journey of Friendship”

Thursday, July 16, 2020, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

A special program offered in collaboration with the Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center

Dr. Philip A. Cunningham is Director of Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph's University. 

This online program requires registration.


Webinar: Catholics, Jews, and the Issues of Our Time: A Conversation between Archbishop Nelson Pérez and Rabbi Abraham Skorka

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Join us for a special webinar as Philadelphia's new archbishop, the Most Rev. Nelson Pérez, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, SJU University Professor, discuss Catholic-Jewish relations and some pressing issues facing both communities in American society today. Co-sponsored with the ADL, AJC, and JCRC.

Archbishop Pérez
Archbishop Pérez
Rabbi Skorka
Rabbi Skorka

Latest Videos

Remembering a Momentous Moment: The Meeting of Pope John XXIII and Prof. Jules Isaac

A webinar celebrating the 60th anniversary of the brief conversation that led directly to the transformation of Catholic-Jewish relations. On June 13, 1960, the French historian Prof. Jules Isaac met with Pope John XXIII to request that he appoint a subcommittee to study historic Catholic teaching about Jews for the upcoming Second Vatican Council. Their conversation led directly to the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate and the Jewish-Catholic dialogue that has now unfolded for six decades.

In this webinar, co-sponsored with the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, two international leaders of the dialogue discuss why that meeting of the pope and the professor was so momentous.

Mary C. Boys, SNJM
Mary C. Boys, SNJM
Rabbi Irving Greenberg
Rabbi Irving Greenberg

Call for Papers

Christian Theologies of Jews and Judaism

is the theme of a special issue of the online, peer-reviewed journal Religions being co-edited by the Institute's directors. Scholars are invited to submit proposals or papers for the issue, to be completed by May 1, 2021.

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, "The Beginning of a Journey of Friendship," L'Osservatore Romano (June 12, 2020)

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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