September 2019 -- Elul 5779-Tishri 5780,  Volume 25, Issue 9

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Following May’s groundbreaking conference in Rome on “Jesus and the Pharisees,” the next Shared Roots, Divergent Paths program at Iona College, will focus on the Pharisees. Often, Christians used the Pharisees to symbolize everything they found wrong with Judaism. Jews, in contrast, tend to see the Pharisees as the ancestors of the Rabbis, learned scholars who brought the Torah to everyday life.


 On Monday, September 23rd at 7:30 p.m., the American Jewish Committee {AJC} Westchester/Fairfield and the Driscoll Professorship in Jewish-Catholic Studies at Iona College, will co-sponsor a presentation which will explore what current research reveals about the Pharisees historically and how they were depicted in the later Jewish and Christians traditions.


The program will take place in the Thomas J. Burke Lounge in Spellman Hall on the Iona College campus, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle.  It is free and open to the public.


The program will feature Dr. Philip A. Cunningham, Professor of Theology (specializing in Christian-Jewish Relations) and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. He has served as president of the International Council of Christians and Jews and on the Advisory Committee on Catholic-Jewish Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is secretary-treasurer and webmaster of the Internet resource Dialogika of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations.


Interested in biblical studies, religious education, and theologies of Christian-Jewish relations, he is the author of numerous books and articles on these subjects. His most recent book is Seeking Shalom: The Journey to Right Relationship between Catholics and Jews (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2015). Previously he co-edited with Joseph Sievers, Mary Boys, Hans Hermann Henrix, and Jesper Svartvik the anthology Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today: New Explorations of Theological Interrelationships (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011).


A member of the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, he contributed to their 2002 statement “A Sacred Obligation: Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the Jewish People” and their 2005 book Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity’s Sacred Obligation (Sheed & Ward).


Also speaking at the program is Rabbi Abraham Skorka, PhD, well known as the “Pope’s Rabbi”. He is currently serving as an University Professor at Saint Joseph´s University in Philadelphia, USA, working closely with its Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations.


Rabbi Skorka was born in Buenos Aires. He has a PhD in Chemistry from The University of Buenos Aires, and graduated from Midrahsa HaIvrit and the Latin-American Rabbinical Seminary.


He was the Rabbi of the Benei Tikva synagogue for 42 years and the rector of the Rabbinical Seminary for 20 years. He is fully committed to his work in interfaith dialogue. He has published many articles and books, especially one book called – On Heaven and Earth - which he wrote with the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Bergoglio, who is currently Pope Francis.


He has received honorary doctoral degrees from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Jewish Theological Seminary and Sacred Heart University. He has received the following awards: Distinguished Personality in the field of culture (2015) from the Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires; Figure of Reconciliation (2015) from the Polish Council of Christians and Jews; The Eternal Light Award (2016) from St. Leo University Center for Catholic and Jewish Understanding, and Jan Karski Eagle Award (2017).


For more information, contact Dr. Elena Procario-Foley at Iona College at 914.637.2744 and Register to AJC at 948-5585.



Jews and Pharisees, a Special Interfaith Program