24, 2013 – Rome -- An AJC senior leadership delegation participated today in
Pope Francis’ first audience with representatives of the international Jewish
community at the Vatican. The four AJC representatives were part of an
International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC)
delegation. AJC is a founding member of IJCIC, the Vatican’s dialogue partner
with world Jewry.
Francis is a very good friend of the Jewish People and we rejoice in the fact
that he will continue to advance the path of his predecessors in deepening the
Catholic-Jewish relationship even further,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s Director of International
Interreligious Affairs. “Our presence at this audience was
significant as AJC is a founder of IJCIC and is the oldest American Jewish
organization that pioneered the transformation in Catholic-Jewish relations.”
to Jerusalem-based Rabbi Rosen, the AJC delegation included David Inlander of
Chicago, Chair of AJC’s Interreligious Affairs Commission; Rabbi Noam Marans of
New York, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations; and Lisa
Palmieri-Billig, AJC Representative in Italy and Liaison to the Holy See.
presented two AJC gifts to Pope Francis. One is a framed photo of the historic
March 31, 1963 meeting of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Augustine Cardinal
Bea at AJC headquarters in New York. At AJC’s initiative, the rabbi and the
cardinal had met to discuss preparations for a declaration from the Second
Vatican Ecumenical Council on the Relationship of the Catholic Church with the
Jewish People. The other gift is a copy of Wide
Horizons: Abraham Joshua Heschel, AJC, and the Spirit of Nostra Aetate, authored by AJC’s Gary Spruch.