January 2010

In This Issue
Theology in Rabbinic Stories Event
Nostra Aetate Resources
Remember to Support CCJS
Dear CCJS Friends and E-Letter Readers,  

Happy New Year! On behalf of the board and staff of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University, I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and that this is the beginning of a healthy and happy New Year for you and your families. This is certainly the beginning of an ambitious and exciting year for the Center. You will find evidence of that as you read through our January E-Letter. I hope you will also take the time to click on its links. When you do, you will discover a depth of content with resources you can trust. We at the Center are proud of the advancements made in our online presence and invite you to explore its many facets. I am grateful to the CCJS Staff and "web-team" for their commitment to this user friendly, "go-to" place for reliable and respected information on issues relevant to Catholics and Jews everywhere.


The Center is beginning another year of meaningful programming. The year 2010 marks the 45th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, a document that opened the door to deepening relations between Catholics and Jews worldwide. You will find many articles and links related to the history and legacy of this important event in our previous E-Letters. On the anniversary of the signing, October 28th, 2010 we will celebrate this historic moment with a Campus Conference, "Nostra Aetate at 45: Remember, Reflect, Renew." Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details. This important conference is but one of a myriad of activities planned for the coming year, all of which support our Center's mission: "building mutual respect, understanding and appreciation among Jews, Christians, and all people of good will by providing opportunities for interfaith education and dialogue."  As individuals we can make that mission a New Year's Resolution. I hope you will join the conversation.  Thank you for your continued interest and support in the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events in this promising New Year.

Ruth B. Maass
Chair, CCJS Board of Directors 
Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue








Theology in Rabbinic StoriesTheology in Rabbinic Stories:
Jewish and Christian Perspectives

WHEN: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 7 p.m.

WHERE: Cannon Memorial Library


Saint Leo University's Cannon Memorial Library, the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, and the Master of Arts in Theology Program have partnered to present a lively interfaith lecture and book discussion focusing on Rabbi Chaim Pearl's popular text, Theology in Rabbinic Stories (Hendrickson, 1997). Students, faculty, staff and the general public are welcome to attend. The program will begin promptly at 7 p.m., Thursday, February 4, 2010, in the Cannon Memorial Library Browsing Area overlooking beautiful Lake Jovita.


Presenters include Tampa's Rabbi Frank Sundheim-rabbinic scholar and guest lecturer at Saint Leo University, USF, and the University of Tampa-and Saint Leo University's own Deacon Dr. William Ditewig, Catholic theologian and director of Saint Leo University's Master of Arts in Theology Program. Linda S. Taggart, director of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University will serve as moderator for the session. 


At this event we will also celebrate the donation of the 100+ volume Babylonian Talmud (Translated by Jacob Neusner, Scholars Press) to the Cannon Memorial Library. See photos of the Talmud's arrival below.  Begin your research into the riches of rabbinic literature by linking to www.myjewishlearning.com.



"Theology in Rabbinic Stories" is highly recommended for use in interfaith education and dialogue programs. 
"Christians and Jews can profit immensely from this delightful book of assorted theological vignettes....Pearl's Christian readership will have a deeper appreciation of the Jewish roots of Christianity and the impact that Jewish studies can have on the thought and life of today's church. I highly recommend this book for those who want to deepen their understanding of the biblical text." Dr. Marvin Wilson, author of "Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith" (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1989).
For details regarding publication CLICK HERE.
For more information, please contact Brent Short, Director of Library Services, at 352-588-8260 or email him at brent.short@saintleo.edu, or contact Carol Ann Moon, Reference and Instructional Outreach Librarian, at 352-588-8261 or email her at carol.moon@saintleo.edu.

Bavli Library Donation Pic 1Bavli Library Donation Pic 2

The Babylonian Talmud arrives at Saint Leo University's Cannon Memorial Library

Pictured L to R: Dr. Doris Van Kampen; Adjunct Professor and CCJS staff member, Thomas Poynor; and Library Director, Brent Short.


  • Jewish-Catholic Dialogue Rejects Coercion in Matters of Faith 
USCCB News Release, November 30, 2009, WASHINGTON-Catholic and Jewish leaders agreed at a fall dialogue that proselytism understood as coercion or manipulation is a corruption of authentic witness to one's faith.  "Any effort to lead a person to faith that tramples on human freedom betrays a lack of respect for human dignity," said Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.   
For more CLICK HERE. 
  • The Council of Centers on Christian-Jewish Relations (CCJR) website link, "Dialogika Resources," now offers a special section with important history and commentary regarding Pius XII and developments surrounding his proposed canonization. 
For more CLICK HERE. 
  • Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Moderator for Jewish Affairs at the USCCB and Rabbi Harlan J. Wechsler hosted a December 17, 2009 interfaith dialogue discussion, "The Power of Community in Catholicism and Judaism" on SIRIUS XM radio. 
"Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and host of the weekly show A Conversation with the Archbishop on The Catholic Channel, and Rabbi Wechsler, host of Rabbi Wechsler Teaches on the SIRIUS XM Stars channel, joined in an interfaith dialogue focusing on the Catholic and Jewish Holy Days and the importance of nurturing tradition in an increasingly secularized world. Archbishop Dolan and Rabbi Wechsler also answered questions from both a live studio audience and callers around the country."   
For more CLICK HERE.


In recognition of the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Vatican II declaration, "Nostra Aetate," our CCJS programming theme for this year has been designated: "Nostra Aetate at 45: Remember, Reflect, Renew."  We recommend the following text, "No Religion is an Island: The Nostra Aetate Dialogues," edited by Dr. Edward Bristow (Fordham University Press, 1998), as a valuable education and dialogue resource for use in congregational, classroom, and community settings.

For ordering information CLICK HERE. 
No Religion is an Island Book Cover

From Publishers Weekly:

These dialogues began in 1993 as an outgrowth of a 1990 conference on Catholic-Jewish relations that commemorated the 25th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II document encouraging dialogue between the Catholic church and non-Christian religions. This volume contains a record of the first five Nostra Aetate dialogues, and it brings together an impressive array of Jewish and Catholic scholars. The conversations here take up "the Jewishness of Jesus" (John Meier and Shaye Cohen); "the Death of Jesus" (the late Raymond Brown and Michael Cook); "Catholic-Jewish Dialogue and the New Millennium" (Ismar Schorsch and John Cardinal O'Connor); "Jerusalem in Jewish and early Christian Thought" (Robert Wilkins and Michael Fishbane); and Abraham Joshua Heschel as "prophet of social activism" (Eugene Borowitz and Daniel Berrigan). Moderators and respondents include religion journalist Peter Steinfels, Rabbi Burton Visotzky and Susannah Heschel, Abraham Joshua Heschel's daughter. The volume is a solid introduction to some of the most important historical work on Christian origins, Jewish-Christian relations and the historical Jesus. The discussion of contemporary issues, especially between Brown and Cook and between Heschel and Berrigan, is lively and accessible. This collection serves as a model for interreligious dialogue. (Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.)


  • Franciscan Center Scholars Forum, the Tampa's Bridge Builders, and CCJS director Linda Taggart have partnered to present a follow-up session in the continuing series, "Learning About World Religions."  The January 13, 2010 session will focus on segments the of the acclaimed video, "Three Faiths, One God (Gerald Krell, 2005), " which was featured on PBS channels nationally.  The program begins at 5:30 pm and includes dinner, video excerpts, and small group discussion.  Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact the Franciscan Center to make reservations (813-229-2695).   
Three Faiths one God
  • Save the Date: Tampa Bay area scholars are invited to attend the Franciscan Center Scholars Forum Reception, Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6-8 pm.  Invitations will be sent out soon to the faculty of our local colleges and universities as well as scholars living in the region.  The Scholars Forum frequently partners with CCJS to present programs related to the dialogue between religion and culture.  The Scholars Reception will provide fellowship for the scholars themselves and will feature a stimulating presentation by Dr. Leon Mandell, USF Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, titled "Religion, Education, and Science."  For more information please contact the Franciscan Center, 813-229-2695.


Everyone Needs Friends and The Center is No Exception
We have received many notes    recently encouraging our work at     CCJS, and especially the expansion of our website resources.  CCJS relies upon your gifts to continue this important work.  Please consider a gift to the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies this year.

The Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, Federal ID# 31-1798703.
Gifts are tax-deductible and, a receipt letter will be send to donors for retention with a donor's tax records.
As a "Friend of the Center" you will receive:
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  4. Invitations to special events.
Please see our Web Page for more information about the work and activities of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies and our collaborating partners, Saint Leo University and The American Jewish Committee, as well as our many friends.             
"A Dynamic Partnership Between Jews and Catholics..."