In This Issue
Message from R. Andrew Maass, President, AJC, West Coast Florida
Lisa Palmieri-Billig speaks to Catholic & Jewish Youth at Castel Gandolfo, Italy
Nostra Aetate Resources
Tampa CCJS-Partnership Events Coming Soon
Support the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies

October 2009

Dear CCJS Friends and E-Letter Readers,
This month we are privileged to share an important update from our friend and colleague, R. Andrew Maass, President, AJC, West Coast Florida, a founding partner of CCJS with Saint Leo University.
You will be informed and inspired reading AJC Vatican Liaison Lisa Palmieri-Billig's address to Catholic and Jewish young people delivered in June in Castel Gandolfo, Italy.  She reminds us of the history and promise of the Second Vatican Council's declaration, Nostra Aetate ("In Our Time"), which was finalized 44 years ago on October 28, 1965.

Beginning with this e-Letter and continuing for the next twelve months, CCJS will focus on the history and legacy of Nostra Aetate and provide links to a variety of respected resources for use in community, classroom, and congregational interfaith education and dialogue settings. 

Lastly, please note below a new section for the announcement of CCJS partnership events in our local Tampa and Sarasota areas. We look forward to hearing from you and perhaps meeting you at one of our CCJS events. 
Linda S. Taggart, M.A.
Director, The Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies and
Adjunct Professor of Theology & Religion at 
Saint Leo University


Dear CCJS Friends,
The AJC, through its many programs and institutes, continues its commitment to inter-faith relations.  More directly the West Coast Florida AJC  remains committed to its decade-long collaboration with Saint Leo University in sponsoring the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies.
This past June, a delegation from ACCESS, AJC's New Generation Program, was in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, participating in the Catholic-Jewish Emerging Leadership Conference.  As part of this four-day conference, the AJC delegates participated in seminars about the history of Catholic-Jewish relations and training sessions for Catholic-Jewish engagement, and discussed current issues in Catholic-Jewish relations.  One of the guest speakers was Lisa Palmieri-Billig, AJC's representative in Rome and liaison to the Vatican.  Ms. Palmieri-Billig plays a central role in AJC's evolving relations with the Italian government and other sectors of Italian society.  Previously she served as Rome correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, representative in Italy and the Vatican for the Anti-Defamation League, and a frequent lecturer in Europe on interfaith dialogue.
In the spirit of dialogue, we recommend reading Ms. Palmieri-Billig's timely and inspiring speech, "Discovering Common Values," presented to Catholic and Jewish youth June 21, 2009.  We agree with CCJS Director Linda Taggart that amid the current challenges we face, let us remember the achievements of decades of our Catholic-Jewish dialogue and may we continue to have faith in its future.
R. Andrew Maass
AJC - West Coast Florida
If you desire more information on Ms. Palmieri-Billig,  go to or contact our Executive Director, Brian Lipton at 941-365-4955 ext. 104


"Discovering Common Values"Lisa Billig
Welcome Speech to participants at the Catholic-Jewish Emerging Leadership Conference
By Lisa Palmieri-Billig
My young friends:
It is a joy and honour for me to have this opportunity to say a few words to you on behalf of IJCIC (the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations) and in particular on behalf of its outgoing Chairman, Rabbi David Rosen, whom I have been asked to represent here tonight.
Seeing you all, a group of young people entrusted with carrying the torch that was lit nearly half a century ago by a few brave pioneers on both sides of the Catholic - Jewish dialogue is, I must say, quite moving.  It is the beginning of the coronation of a vision.  I have had the privilege, throughout these years, both as an observer and as a participant, to follow first-hand, the progressive evolution of this vision over and beyond all the hurdles and obstacles that have appeared and will continue to appear along the road on which we are all travelling together.
One thing is clear.  The more time passes and the more the circumstances of our surrounding world change, the greater the significance and urgency of our dialogue, our friendship and our concrete cooperation to implement the moral and ethical values that bind us in a common destiny.
Continued, Please Click Here


 The year 2010 will mark the 45th anniversary of the Ecumenism and Interreligious DialogueSecond Vatican Council's declaration Nostra Aetate ("In Our Time"), which opened the door for interfaith education and dialogue in the Catholic Church.  The Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University embodies the legacy of Nostra Aetate, a vision of mutual spiritual and academic enrichment between Jews and Christians.
CCJS recommends Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, by Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy from our friends at Paulist Press as a resource for interfaith education in community, classroom, and congregational settings. 
Book Description
In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Vatican II, Paulist Press has created a groundbreaking 8-book series, Rediscovering Vatican II, that places the Council in dialogue with today's church and her people and focuses on what today's Catholics need to know, not just historically. The first volume, Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue: Unitatis redintegratio, Nostra Aetate, looks at the relationship of the Catholic Church with other Christian churches and other great religions.
Cardinal Cassidy devotes part one of his book to Unitatis redintegratio, the decree on Restoring Christian Unity, which brought the Catholic Church into the modern ecumenical movement. And in part two, Nostra Aetate (the Declaration on Interreligious Dialogue), he looks at the relationship of the Catholic Church with other world religions.

This work, and indeed the entire series, which is the only one of its kind at this level and organization, will prove valuable for religious educators, theologians, church historians (of all faiths, especially Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), undergrad and grad students, as well as readers who have heard much about Vatican II, but who have never sat down to understand certain aspects of it.

About the Author
Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy holds a doctorate in Canon Law from Lateran University. In 1989, he was appointed as President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and he became at the same President of the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. Now retired, he lives in Australia.


Mark your calendar to attend these interesting events coming soon - Please Click Date for Details!




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