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 Progam

Longing for Mayberry: Cultural Ideals as Weapons of Exclusion

September 25, 2019

Historically, the concept of an ideal community populated with ideal people includes appeals to nostalgia, as seen in the fictional idyllic 1960s TV town of Mayberry. The ideals look innocent but they can be deployed to harm those who seem outside the "ideal." Dr. Reggie L. Williams is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. [Details >]

Part 1 of a series: The Intersection of "Race" and "Religion" in the USA, which explores the experiences of African-Americans and Jewish-Americans in the predominantly Christian ethos of the U.S.

Latest Video

Religion and Science: Contradictory or Complementary? 

Rabbi Abraham Skorka explores this question from the perspective of Rabbinic and Jewish traditions and his own background as a biophysicist. Dr Gerard Jacobitz offers a response.

Institute News

Institute Concludes Its First International Conference and Roundtable 

From January 7-10, 2019, the Institute hosted 20 scholars from nine nations for a four-day conference and roundtable to study major topics in Christian-Jewish relations. Residing at the Saint Raphaela Center in Haverford, the participants, whose names and institutions can be found HERE, presented and discussed papers on the following topics: (more…)

Latest Essays by IJCR Professors

Philip A. Cunningham: "Emerging Principles of a Theology of Shalom," Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society 44/2 (December 2017): 281-305.

Adam Gregerman, "Is the Biblical Land Promise Irrevocable?: Post Nostra Aetate Catholic Theologies of the Jewish Covenant and the Land of Israel," Modern Theology 34 (2018): 137-158.

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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