Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations


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

Beginning with the 1965 Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate on the Church's relationship with other religions, 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. It is dedicated to promoting opportunities for Jews and Catholics to be study partners, teaching and learning about themselves and each other by studying and experiencing together texts, rituals, events, and places.

IJCR graphic

This vision was enshrined in 2015 in a sculpture by Philadelphia artist Joshua Koffman, “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time.” The original artwork celebrates the golden jubilee of Nostra Aetate and the mission of the Institute. The longtime friend of Pope Francis, fellow Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka, delivered the keynote address at the sculpture's dedication ceremony at the Chapel of Saint Joseph on September 25, 2015. Two days later, Pope Francis came to the campus. Embracing his friend, Rabbi Skorka observed of the female figures that symbolize Synagogue and Church: "They are you and I – Pope and Rabbi learning from one another." Then the Holy Father blessed the sculpture and the Institute's mission in service of what he has called the Catholic and Jewish "journey of friendship." [more >>]

Pope Francis and Rabbi Abraham Skorka


Videos of Recent Programs  

Videos of the plenary sessions of the annual conferences of the International Council of Christians and Jews and of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, hosted at SJU by the Institute in July 2016 are accessible HERE


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. 610-660-1863 |
Adam Gregerman, Ph.D. 610-660-1878 |
Dori Pappas, Administrative Assistant 610-660-1593 |