These pages list past Institute programs and its directors' presentations elsewhere. Items marked "video available" can be streamed from this website by clicking on "Videos" in the top navigation bar above.

Profits and Prophets: Public Economic Policies in the Light of Jewish and Catholic Social Ethics

September 13, 2021

Monday, September 13, 2021 at 7 p.m.

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

Inspired by the recently published book by SJU economics professor Dr. Nancy Ruth Fox (Profits and Prophets: Market Economics and Jewish Social Ethics), she and SJU professor of Catholic Social Ethics Dr. James O’Sullivan discuss public policy issues from their respective traditions’ principles of social justice. Topics considered include minimum wage, immigration, and climate change. Watch this timely Catholic-Jewish dialogue on questions in the forefront of national public discourse today!


“Til Kingdom Come”: A Film about Christian Evangelicals and Israel

May 3, 2021

Webinar on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7 p.m. (EDT)

By special arrangement with the producers, Abramorama, the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations invites you to view this new documentary and then to join in a panel discussion of it.

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

In this provocative look at strange political bedfellows, Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein investigates the political alliance between American evangelicals and Israel’s right wing, and their influence on United States foreign policy. Why do American church leaders encourage parishioners to make donations to Israel, even from poor communities? Millions of American Evangelicals are praying for the State of Israel. Among them are the Binghams, a dynasty of Kentucky pastors, and their Evangelical congregants in an impoverished coal mining town. They donate sacrificially to Israel’s foremost philanthropic organization, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, because they fervently believe the Jews are crucial to Jesus’ return. This film traces this unusual relationship, from rural Kentucky to the halls of government in Washington, through the moving of the American Embassy in Jerusalem and to the (shelved) annexation plan of the West-Bank. View the documentary’s trailer HERE.

About the Webinar Panelists:

Dr. Yaakov Ariel is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research has focused on Protestantism, especially Evangelical Christianity, and its attitudes towards the Jewish people and the Holy Land; on Christian-Jewish relations in the late modern era; and on the Jewish reaction to modernity and postmodernity. The author of numerous books and articles on these topics, his book, Evangelizing the Chosen People, was awarded the Albert C. Outler prize by the American Society of Church History.

Dr. Caitlen Carenen is Professor of History and department chair at Eastern Connecticut State University. Her areas of expertise include the relationship between American religious history and foreign policy, and particularly American Religious History, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the history of the United States in the Middle East. Among her many publications is the book, The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel.


SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story

March 15, 2021

A special screening of the new film! 


Webinar on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 7 p.m. (EDT)

By special arrangement with producer Martin Doblmeier and Journey Films, the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations is proud to invite you to view this new documentary and then to join with the producer and others in discussing it.

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

About the film (See the trailer HERE!):

Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Polish-born rabbi who escaped to the United States from Nazi Germany and became one of the most influential public theologians and civil rights activists of the twentieth century, is the subject of the latest documentary by Martin Doblmeier and Journey Films: “SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story.” The descendant of Hasidic rabbis and a “brand plucked from the fire” of the Holocaust, he was a friend and ally of Martin Luther King, Jr., helped begin a new friendship between Jews and Catholics, opposed the Viet Nam War, and brought the Hebrew prophets to life — not only by his words, but also by his deeds.

The film’s title, SPIRITUAL AUDACITY comes from Heschel’s response to President John F. Kennedy, who invited him to a White House conference on race and religion, intended to derail a planned march on Washington. Susannah Heschel recalls her father’s response, sent by telegram: “‘I propose that you, Mr. President, declare a state of moral emergency. The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.’”

About the webinar panelists:

Martin Doblmeier, the producer of SPIRITUAL AUDACITY, holds degrees in Religious Studies, Broadcast Journalism and three honorary degrees in Fine Arts and Humane Letters. Since 1984 he has produced and directed more than 30 films focused on religion, faith and spirituality. He combines a lifelong interest in religion with a passion for storytelling. His films explore how belief can lead individuals to extraordinary acts, how spirituality creates and sustains communities and how faith is lived in extraordinary ways.


Susannah Heschel, Ph.D., is the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, and the history of antisemitism. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus, which won a National Jewish Book Award, and The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany. She also edited a collection of her father’s essays, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays of Abraham Joshua Heschel.


Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Ph.D., is the rector emeritus of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer in Buenos Aires and recently completed an appointment as University Professor at Saint Joseph’s University. He co-authored with his friend Pope Francis the best-selling book, On Heaven and Earth. His Jewish spirituality in the Masorti (Conservative) movement was heavily shaped by Heschel’s pupil, Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer and by Heschel’s influential essay, “No Religion is An Island.”


Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., co-directs the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations and is a professor of theology at SJU. Past president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, he is the author of Seeking Shalom: The Journey to Right Relationship between Catholics and Jews and of the forthcoming Maxims for Mutuality: Principles for Catholic Theology, Education, and Preaching about Jews and Judaism.


Moderator: Adam Gregerman, Ph.D., co-directs the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations and is associate professor of Jewish studies at SJU.  The author of Building on the Ruins of the Temple: Apologetics and Polemics in Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, he is Vice-Chair of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, reviews editor of Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations. and a member of the Committee on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.



Interreligious Dialogue about the Land: Development and Diversity

February 21, 2021

Themes in Enabling Dialogue about the Land: A Resource Book for Jews and Christians 

Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

The editors and three contributors to the new book sponsored by the International Council of Christians and Jews explore themes about the Land and State of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the volume addresses.

Welcome: Anette Adelman, ICCJ General Secretary

  • “Living Jewishly in the Land,” Dr. Deborah Weissman, ICCJ, Jerusalem
  • “A Christian Life in a Wounded Land,” Dr. David Neuhaus, S.J., Pontifical Biblical Institute, Jerusalem
  • “Israel in Jewish Theologies,” Rabbi Dr. Ruth Langer, Boston College
  • “Israel in Protestant Theologies,” Rev. Dr. Jesper Svartvik, Boston College
  • “Israel in Catholic Theologies,” Dr. Philip A. Cunningham, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia

Moderator: Dr. Adam Gregerman, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia


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

January 31, 2021

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

The Institute directors have a conversation 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.

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

In their new book, 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. On January 31, they will discuss why they wrote this book, which reveals what Jews and Christians can learn from each other and shows how to appreciate the distinctive perspectives of each.

Since the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations aims to “increase knowledge and deepen understanding between Jews and Catholics through shared study,” the four colleagues will then chat about the dynamics of this kind of interreligious text study, particularly in the specific context of interaction between Jews and Catholics. Participants will be invited to join in the conversation.

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.



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

November 9, 2020

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

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.


American Antisemitism in Historical Perspective

October 25, 2020
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.

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

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.


Dialogue as an ‘Exchange of Gifts:’ How the Catholic-Jewish Rapprochement Can Enrich American Society

September 14, 2020

Monday, September 14, 2020, 7:00-8:30 p.m. 

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]

The post-Second World War “journey of friendship” between Jews and Catholics, as Pope Francis has called it, has shown the world that it is possible for two communities that had been estranged and hostile to one another for over a millennium to come together in a new and enriching relationship. Today our country is experiencing a reckoning in terms of its racist legacy. What helpful lessons can be learned from the ongoing Catholic and Jewish experience of rapprochement? Two leaders in the national Catholic-Jewish dialogue will discuss the connections between interracial and interreligious relations.

Guest Speakers:

Rev. Dr. Walter F. Kedjierski is the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He holds an Ed.D. in Interfaith and Ecumenical Education from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Mishawaka, Indiana and a Ph.D. in Dogmatic/Spiritual Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation’s Foundation House at Oxford University.


Rabbi David Straus is the  Senior Rabbi at Main Line Reform Temple | Beth Elohim in Wynnewood, PA. He is a co-convener of the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia, and serves on the board and executive committee of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia. He is the chair of the National Council of Synagogues which meets regularly with members of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, National Council of Churches, and the Evangelical Community.



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

July 28, 2020

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


Archbishop Pérez

Rabbi Skorka

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.




[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]


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

July 16, 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020 – 7:00 p.m. 

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

This virtual presentation is Co-Sponsored by Rev. George Balasko in memory of Rabbi Samuel Meyer as part of the Villa Maria Annual Nostra Aetate Lecture Series

Since the Second Vatican Council in 1965, interactions between Jews and Catholics have become more frequent and positive than ever before in history. Official and informal dialogues have multiplied, and religious leaders in both communities have reconsidered and reformed long-held ideas about each other in a process that still continues. This “journey of friendship,” as Pope Francis has called it, has led to a new interreligious relationship that is exemplified by his own long friendship and dialogues with Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires. It is also depicted in an original sculpture, “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time,” at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, blessed by Pope Francis in 2015. The artwork shows the Synagogue and the Church learning from each other’s experiences of God in a relationship of mutuality. Join us for this story of a new beginning that gives great hope for the future. 

Presenter: Philip A. Cunningham, Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University

[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]