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News from Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies
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June 2010
In This Issue
Walking God's Paths
Nostra Aetate Resources
2010 Friends of the Center Appeal

Dear CCJS Friends and E-Letter Readers,

June traditionally signals the end of the academic year. For us at the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, summer begins our planning time. The underlying goal of all our programs is best conveyed by our mission statement "to build mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation among Jews, Catholics, and all people of good will by providing opportunities for interfaith education and dialogue." 

Walking God's Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation, is one of our ongoing programs and one we recommend.  If you are interested in participating in an interfaith dialogue series or in organizing one for your congregation or community, CLICK HERE to find more information on our website.  The need for dialogue in our world is as great as ever.  I hope you will join the conversation.

June also signals the conclusion of my term as Chair of the CCJS
Ruth Maass, Chair CCJS
Ruth Maass
Board. It has been my honor and pleasure to lead the board through an exciting and promising time in its growth. Beginning in July, Dr. David Hernandez will lead us to the next stage with wisdom, dedication, and passion. Our future looks bright.

 On behalf of the Board, thank you for your continued support.
 Ruth Maass
Chair, CCJS Board of Directors
Walking God's Paths
WGP LogoLooking for a quality interfaith study program?
CCJS recommends "Walking God's Paths"

CCJS proudly recommends "Walking God's Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation," a six part video-based interfaith dialogue and education series that includes free online access to study guides and facilitator resources. A joint venture of Boston College's Center for Christian Jewish Learning, the National Council of Synagogues, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the series is intended for use by Catholic and Jewish congregations led by knowledgeable clergy and facilitators. Facilitation guidelines include suggestions for use in Protestant-Jewish dialogues. The materials are also recommended for use in pastoral and academic courses focusing on interfaith and comparative religion topics.
Program Content:
More than 3000 copies of "Walking God's Paths" have been sold nationwide since the program was released in 2004. Each WGP segment is approximately 15 minutes in length and has a detailed online User's Guide containing segment scripts, discussion questions, and additional resources for further study. Each of the six segments features Jewish and Catholic clergy and scholars of national acclaim in the field of interfaith relations. The series is designed to provide participants with an understanding of what Jews and Christians share, where they differ, and how they can work together for a better world.
CLICK HERE for information on ordering WGP materials
CLICK HERE  to see what Jewish and Catholic leaders have to say about the Walking God's Paths program  

This month we continue to feature the important work of Rabbi Michael Signer of Blessed Memory.  Rabbi Signer honored CCJS and Saint Leo University as a presenter at the February 2000 CCJS Campus Conference, "The Evolution of Catholic-Jewish Relations During the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II." Please read his 2005 essay: "Nostra Aetate after 40 Years: A Decisive Change" By Michael A. Signer, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame.
Introduction: One of the easiest ways to assess the difference in relations between Christians and Jews in the forty years since 1965 is to examine a library catalogue. The number of books devoted to the historical, theological and philosophical dimensions of our relationship grows larger every year. Beyond the printed pages there are human encounters which encourage exploration of our religious traditions. There are dozens of symposia and many research centers that focus on the past, present and future of this relationship. If someone were to investigate this topic prior to 1965 they would discover only a few Jewish authors who explored the Christian tradition and even less Christian authors who examined Judaism with a measure of empathy.
Read more here.

Remembering Rabbi Michael Signer
Rabbi SignerBy Richard McBrien
Created Feb 09, 2009
Rabbi Michael Signer died on Jan. 10 at age 63. His name was, and remains, well known and widely respected in Jewish circles and among those active in the Jewish-Catholic dialogue, but he did not enjoy the same celebrity status as that of Cardinal Avery Dulles, another recently deceased theologian.
Michael Signer joined the Theology faculty at the University of Notre Dame in 1992 as the first Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture. It was one of my final achievements as chair of the department to have brought Michael to Notre Dame from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where he had served as Professor of Jewish History from 1974 to 1991.  
Read more here. 
Please visit the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations website where you will find a moving tribute to Rabbi Michael Signer who contributed so much to advancing and preserving the legacy of Nostra Aetate
Michael Signer was the author and editor of five books on topics that range from Medieval Latin biblical commentaries to contemporary Jewish-Christian relations, and was one of the four authors of the historic statement, Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity.  Michael Signer was among the founders of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, and delivered an important paper on Dabru Emet at its first annual meeting on October 28, 2002.
Read more here.

This month CCJS is highlighting the following newly released text, "An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations" (Cambridge University 2010), by Edward Kessler, Founder and Executive Director of the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths and Fellow of St. Edmund's College at Cambridge University: 

Kessler Intro to Jewish-Christian Relations"Relations between Christians and Jews over the past two thousand years have been characterized to a great extent by mutual distrust and by Christian discrimination and violence against Jews. In recent decades, however, a new spirit of dialogue has been emerging, beginning with an awakening among Christians of the Jewish origins of Christianity, and encouraging scholars of both traditions to work together. An Introduction to Jewish-Christian relations sheds fresh light on this ongoing interfaith encounter, exploring key writings and themes in Jewish-Christian history, from the Jewish context of the New Testament to major events of modern times, including the rise of ecumenism, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the creation of the state of Israel. This accessible theological and historical study also touches on numerous related areas such as Jewish and interfaith studies, philosophy, sociology, cultural studies, international relations and the political sciences"--Provided by publisher.

Read more here.
CCJS relies upon your gifts to continue this important work serving clergy, congregations, classrooms (teachers and students at all levels), and the community at large.  Please consider enrolling as a 2010 Friend of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies.

The Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, Federal ID# 31-1798703.
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