American Jewish Committee, Catholic Theological Union Partner to Advance Interreligious Understanding

January 29, 2003

January 29, 2003 -  NEW YORK -- The American Jewish Committee and the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union, the largest Catholic school of theology in the United States, have announced a joint association dedicated to further improving Catholic - Jewish relations.
The American Jewish Committee - Catholic Theological Union association will also enable the routine exchange of research, analysis, and ideas, in addition to the opportunity to work together to support special events. The association may include joint sponsorship of publications, conferences, study groups, and interreligious visits.

"We enter into this agreement in the hope and belief that the association of AJC and CTU will increase the reach and effectiveness of our two organizations, and will also serve the best interests of the Catholic and Jewish communities, as well as those of religious communities in the United States and around the world," said Rev. John Pawlikowski, expert in interreligous dialogue and director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program at Catholic Theological Union.

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's Director of International Interreligious Affairs, said, "We believe that this cooperative relationship with one of the foremost Catholic theological schools in the U.S., will enhance even further the unique contribution of the American Jewish Committee to the historic transformation in our times of Catholic-Jewish relations."

The formal association also includes the commissioning of a study regarding joint oversight and expansion of the Catholic/Jewish Educational Enrichment Program (C/JEEP), the American Jewish Committee's award-winning interreligious understanding initiative for Catholic and Jewish high school students and faculty.

The Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union and the American Jewish Committee have collaborated on several projects, including the 2000 Catholic Jewish Studies Conference on "Jews and Catholics Working Together."

Founded in 1906, the American Jewish Committee is the nation's oldest human relations organization, protecting the rights and freedoms of Jews worldwide, combating bigotry and anti-Semitism, while supporting human rights for all. The Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union, founded in 1997 to continue the vision of the late Cardinal Bernardin, focuses on his signature issues such as reconciliation and peacemaking, interreligious dialogue, and the role of religion in society. The Bernardin Center is sponsor of the highly respected Catholic-Jewish Studies Program.

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Contact: Kenneth Bandler (212) 891-6771

        Lisa Fingeret Roth (212) 891-1385

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