Shevet Achim Award Honorees

2018 Honoree: Rabbi Abraham Skorka

Skorka saRabbi Abraham Skorka, Ph.D., Rabbi Skorka served for almost twenty years as the rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The seminary prepares rabbis, cantors, and educators from throughout Latin America in the Masorti or Conservative Jewish tradition. He also taught Talmud and Rabbinic Literature there and was dean of its Rabbinical School. In addition, he has served for decades as a rabbi for the Benei Tikva Congregation in Buenos Aires. He is the author of numerous articles in newspapers (La Nación, L´Osservatore Romano) and author or editor of specialized journals and books on rabbinical topics, including "Thousands of Years per Week: Reflections on the Weekly Reading of the Torah" (1997);  "Introduction to Hebrew Law" (2001);  "Towards a Tomorrow without Faith?" (2006); and has coedited the volume Topics of Hebrew Law (2012) [titles translated from the original Spanish]. 

Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer, a disciple of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rabbi Skorka has been deeply committed to interreligious dialogue throuhgout his entire career. In the 1990s, he found a new Catholic partner with whom to share this commitment when he was introduced to an auxiliary bishop named Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Throughout the years, as Bishop Bergoglio became archbishop and then cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, he and Rabbi Skorka collaborated on many projects, including a series of television programs of informal dialogues together and a book of their conversations, On Heaven and Earth. Since Cardinal Bergoglio's election as Pope Francis, Rabbi Skorka has sometimes been his travel companion — notably during the papal pilgrimage to Israel in May 2014 — seeking to model the possibilities, importance, and blessings of Christian-Jewish dialogue.