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 institution of higher education. 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 Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently

Sunday, January 31, 2021, 1:00-2:30 p.m. 

A different type of virtual experience! Esteemed Bible scholars Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler introduce their new book in a discussion with the Institute directors about how Christians, Jews, and scholars read these biblical texts differently and what this can mean for joint Jewish and Christian study.

Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Department of Jewish Studies.

Marc Zvi Brettler is the Distinguished Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University.

Online registration for this webinar is required. Click on the title to access the registration page.  

Latest Videos

Questions about the Holocaust the Vatican's World War II Archives Could Help Answer 

Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming discusses the status of the newly-opened Vatican archives from World War II and their importance in understanding the actions of the Catholic Church during the Shoah.


American Antisemitism in Historical Perspective

Offered in collaboration with the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations

Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna is University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. He is also Chief Historian at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Respondents: Dr. Heather Miller Rubens, Rabbi Dr. Lance J. Sussman
Moderator: Dr. Victoria J. Barnett. 

International Collaborations

Encyclopedia of Jewish-Christian Relations

Dr. Cunningham is an advisory board member for this project of the Berlin-based publisher DeGruyter. He and Dr. Gregerman have also authored articles in it. Click on the title for an introductory video to the project, which includes an interview with the Institute directors about co-writing one of the entries.

Enabling Dialogue about the Land

The Institute was a university sponsor of a research project of the International Council of Christians and Jews, which recently led to the publication of a resource book for Jews and Christians on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Published by Paulist Press, click on the title for a video interview with the volume's editors and the Institute directors, who also contributed to the book.

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, "Sources of ‘Fratelli Tutti,’ the Encyclical of Pope Francis L'Osservatore Romano (Oct 23, 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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