Following the historic pilgrimage of Saint Pope John Paul II to the Holy Land in 2000, a Bilateral Commission for interfaith dialogue between the Vatican and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel was established. On June 5, 2002, delegations from the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews and from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel met in Jerusalem to decide how an ongoing dialogue would be organized and what topics would be discussed. This first, preliminary meeting was kept private. It was agreed to meet regularly, alternating between Israel and the Vatican, with a limited number of delegates (six or seven participants in each delegation) in order to promote active conversation.
The first formal dialogue session occurred in Rome on February 24-26, 2003, and have continued up to the present. This section of Dialogika provides the texts of the Joint Statements that are issued after each meeting using the theme of each meeting as a title. (2016 Photo courtesy of the Israeli Embassy in Rome.)