Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations


IJCR graphic

Beginning with the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), relations between the Catholic and Jewish communities have developed in new and positive ways that are unprecedented in the previous two thousand years. Founded in 1967, the first at a Catholic university in the United States in reponse to the Council's call for Catholic-Jewish dialogue, the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations has been a steady participant in this unfolding interfaith rapprochement.

Flowing from the Catholic and Jesuit identity of Saint Joseph's University, the Institute's mission is to increase knowledge and deepen understanding between the Jewish and Catholic communities. The Institute pursues shalom (or "right relationship") between Catholics and Jews in partnership with scholars and religious leaders around the nation and the world. Institute personnel offer courses on Christian-Jewish relations to Saint Joseph's University students through the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and also partner nationally and internationally in research dedicated to furthering the process of Jewish and Catholic reform and reconciliation.

As reflected in the original sculpture commissioned by Saint Joseph's University and blessed by Pope Francis to mark to the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate (see below), the Institute promotes the vision of Jews and Christians as study partners who learn about the Holy One from each other's sacred texts and traditions. 

... increasing knowledge and deepening understanding between the Jewish and Catholic peoples since 1967





Photo by Melissa Kelly

Pope's Friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka gives keynote address at dedication.  

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Video of Philadelphia's Celebration of Nostra Aetate

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Texts from the dedication ceremony

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Slide show of the visit of Pope Francis

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SJU President's Report: "Bringing Nostra Aetate's Promise to Fruition"

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Transforming image of hostility to esteem

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Meet the sculptor Joshua Koffman

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Sculpting a new tradition

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Saint Joseph's Delegation Meets with Pope Francis

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Videos of Recent Programs  

  • "A Sacred Calling, A Pivotal Moment"
    (Ruth Langer, Elena Procario-Foley, David Fox Sandmel) [more>>] 
  • "Jewish-Christian Relations for the Present Time"
    (Peter Pettit, Elena Procario-Foley, Ruth Sandberg) [more>>]
  • "Learning in the Presence of the Other: Deepening the Dialogue between Catholics and Jews"
    (Mary C. Boys and Sara Lee) [more>>]

The Institute is a founding member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations:

Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations

The Institute cosponsors with the CCJR a major online library of resources in Christian-Jewish Relations called Dialogika ("items of dialogue"):

Dialogika banner

A memorial endowment has been established in memory of the Institute's longtime director, Rev. Donald Clifford, S.J.  Details available HERE.

Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater PhiladephiaDonald Clifford, SJ


Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph's University
Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., Director 610-660-1863 |
Adam Gregerman, Ph.D., Assistant Director 610-660-1878 |
Dori Pappas, Administrative Assistant 610-660-1593 |