American Antisemitism in Historical Perspective

Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 3 p.m. EDT

Registration is required HERE.


This webinar is offered in collaboration with the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, of which the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations is a founding member.


Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna is University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, where he directs the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.  He also chairs the Academic Advisory and Editorial Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, and serves as Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Author or editor of more than thirty books on American Jewish history and life, his American Judaism: A History  (Yale 2004), recently published in a second edition, won six awards including the 2004 “Everett Jewish Book of the Year Award” from the Jewish Book Council. His most recent books are (with Benjamin Shapell)  Lincoln and the Jews: A History (St. Martin’s, 2015), and When General Grant Expelled the Jews (Schocken/Nextbook, 2012). His annotated edition of Cora Wilburn’s previously unknown 1860 novel, Cosella Wayne (University of Alabama Press), has also just appeared.


Dr. Heather Miller Rubens is the Executive Director and Roman Catholic Scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies ( in Baltimore.  Holding a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, she studies how religious communities navigate political, legal, and cultural spaces, as well as how different religious communities relate to one another in particular contexts.


Rabbi Dr. Lance J. Sussman has served as the Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA since 2001. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Jewish History at Binghamton University, SUNY. Rabbi Sussman has also taught at Princeton, Hunter College and Rutgers. He holds a Ph.D. in American Jewish History from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, studying under Jacob Rader Marcus.


Dr. Victoria J. Barnett was Director of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2004-2019. She also served as one of the general editors of the 17-volume Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, the complete English edition of Bonhoeffer’s writings published by Fortress Press. Her most recent book is “After Ten Years”: Dietrich Bonhoeffer for Our Times.


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

Monday, November 9, 2020, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Online registration is required. Register HERE.

Guest speaker:

As a follow-up to the Philadelphia screening of the film “Holy Silence” last March, Dr. Brown-Fleming will discuss 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 Holocaust, including what are the crucial questions that those materials could help answer.

Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming is the Director of International Academic Programs at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Her area of research is the relationship between Germany and the Vatican during the pontificates of Pius XI and Pius XII, as well as Catholic antisemitism in that period.


“The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently” with Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler

Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST | 20:00 IST

Required online registration will open in December. Save the date!

Join Institute directors Philip Cunningham and Adam Gregerman for an online discussion with the authors of a new book that explores how Jews and Christians can learn from and understand each other better by examining how they read many of the same Bible stories through different lenses.

Esteemed Bible scholars Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler, co-editors of the widely acclaimed The Jewish Annotated New Testament, take readers on a guided tour of the most popular Hebrew Bible passages referenced in the New Testament to explore how Christians, Jews, and scholars read these ancient texts differently. Among the passages analyzed are the creation story, the role of Adam and Eve, the suffering servant passages in Isaiah, the sign of “Jonah” Jesus refers to, and the words Jesus quotes from Psalm 22 as he is dying on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Comparing Jewish, Christian, and academic interpretations of each ancient narrative, Levine and Brettler offer a deeper understanding of these contrasting views, and illuminate the  historical and literary significance of the Bible and its place in our culture. Revealing not only what Jews and Christians can learn from each other, The Bible With and Without Jesus also shows how to appreciate the distinctive perspectives of each. By understanding the depth and variety by which these passages have been understood, we not only enhance our knowledge of each other, but also see more clearly the beauty and power of Scripture itself.

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. She has also taught at Swarthmore College, Cambridge University, and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. She is the author of many books, including The Misunderstood Jew and Short Stories by Jesus. 

Marc Zvi Brettler is the Distinguished Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University.  He has also taught at Yale University, Brown University, Wellesley College, Brandeis University, and Middlebury College.