American Jewish Committee (AJC)  met with Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, a forceful advocate against antisemitism, at a conclave of many of the world’s religions and movements that is guided by a message that allyship and freedom to worship are needed more than ever.

The meeting with the Cardinal, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, was held Wednesday during the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s largest interreligious gathering. Nearly 10,000 people from 80 countries representing 200 religions and beliefs are attending the five-day meeting in Chicago.

"This was a unique opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to Cardinal Cupich for his steadfast commitment to combating resurgent antisemitism and Holocaust denial and assuring and expanding Catholic-Jewish relations,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. “The Cardinal’s steadfast voice reminds everyone that antisemitism is not a Jewish problem. It is one we must all solve.”

“There is one word that defines our relationship with the Jewish people, ‘irrevocable.’ God’s covenant with the people of Israel is irrevocable and Catholics should engage Jews with this notion as our North Star,” Cardinal Cupich said. 

The meeting also addressed recent extremist attacks against Christians and Christian institutions in Israel and elsewhere. AJC expressed deep concern and renewed its commitment to speak out.

Also among those at the meeting with Cardinal Cupich were AJC Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations Ari Gordon and Natalia Mahmud, Program Director of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, co-founded by AJC; AJC Chicago Director Sarah van Loon, and AJC Chicago Assistant Director Barbara Kantrow.

The Cardinal was honored by AJC Chicago in 2019 with the Lawrence Adelman Award, given to those dedicated to fighting antisemitism and hate.

In accepting the award then, Cardinal Cupich said: “Antisemitism creates fear and division in society; it poisons the mind of youth; it invades the souls of people with contempt for others; it corrupts religion and one’s relationship with God and as we have too often seen, it incites acts of violence.”

The Cardinal also spoke movingly about visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2019 with his friend, the late Fritzie Fritzshall, a survivor of the camp who was the longtime president of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. He had called it a “great honor to be associated with the noble survivors of the Holocaust.”

AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.


Back to Top