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

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 whether 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, is working closely with the Institute directors to advance its educational and research mission. Dedicated to interreligious understanding his entire career, he and Pope Francis discuss how much their dialogues have personally meant to them in the video linked below. Visit Rabbi Skorka's blog HERE.

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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