Report on the Fourth Annual Meeting

Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations

Report on the Fourth Annual Meeting

Held in Conjunction with the Meeting of the International Council of Christians and Jews
Chicago, Illinois, July 24, 2005

Since this year's gathering occurred within the context of the meeting of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ), the Council did not sponsor its own workshops or panels and simply conducted the annual business meeting.

Business Meeting

The CCJR chair, Peter Pettit, convened the business meeting at 12:35 p.m. The following members were present: Judy Banki (Tanenbaum Center), Charles Brooks (Muhlenberg), James Buchanan (Xavier), Philip Cunningham (B.C.), Audrey Doetzel (B.C.), Lawrence Frizzell (Seton Hall), Wilda Kaylor (Seton Hill), Edward Kessler (Cambridge), Ruth Langer (B.C.), Padraic O'Hare (Merrimack), John Pawlikowski (Bernardin Center), Peter Pettit (Muhlenberg), Elena Procario-Foley (Iona), Donna Purdy (Relation & Encounter), Gabriel Rossetti (Sacred Heart), Michael Signer (Notre Dame), Lois Sculco (Seton Hill), Franklin Sherman (Muhlenberg), Kevin Spicer (Stonehill), Racelle Weiman (H.U.C.), and Peter Zaas (Siena), representing 14 of the 25 regular member centers or institutes. Present later for the ICCJ meeting were Gary Bretton-Granatoor (ADL), Donald Clifford (St. Joseph), David Elcott (AJC), Eugene Fisher (USCCB), Martin Forward (Aurora), Gilbert Rosenthal (NCS), and David Sandmel (Bernardin Center).

  • Chair Peter Pettit welcomed James Buchanan, director of the Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University, to his first meeting and guests Manfred Deselaers of the Oswiecim Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Poland) and Emmanuel Pannier, director of SIDIC Paris (France).
  • The agenda for the meeting was unanimously approved.
  • The Chair then summarized his annual report. The full text can be found HERE.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer read aloud the proposed revision to the CCJR By-laws that would add the words "and Canada" to the description of Regular Members (3,A) as "Centers, institutes, and similar entities in the United States and Canada with a major concern for Christian-Jewish studies and relations shall be eligible to be Regular Members of the Council." This revision had been discussed at the 2004 Annual Meeting and announced through the CCJR listserv. There was a unanimous vote in favor of the revision.
  • The Chair invited discussion on the four applications for membership, two as regular members and two as affiliate members. After conversing about the various applicants, they were all unanimously approved. The new regular members are: The Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, The King's University College Centre for Catholic-Jewish Learning in London, Ontario, Canada (pending their formal chartering). The new affiliate members are The Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy and The Center for the Study of Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer's financial report for 2004-2005 and proposed budget for 2005-2006 were unanimously approved. Copies are available to members upon request.
  • The Chair then turned the meeting over to retiring at-large Board member, Lois Sculco who called upon the nominating committee, composed of Audrey Doetzel, John Pawlikowski, and Peter Zaas, to announce its slate of nominees for the Board of Directors for the next three years. Audrey Doetzel moved the following: Chair: Peter Pettit; Vice-Chair: Michael Signer; Secretary-Treasurer: Philip Cunningham; At-large members: Elena Procario-Foley and Peter Zaas. There were no further nominations from the floor and the slate was elected unanimously. The Chair requested the new Board to remain for a brief meeting after the general meeting.
  • The Chair invited members to consider the next CCJR Annual meeting, to be held on October 22-23, 2006. Iona College, Seton Hill University, Merrimack College, and Boston College all expressed interest. [At the Board meeting following the general meeting, it was agreed that Iona College would pursue the possiblity of hosting the 2006 meeting and Seton Hill would be invited to host the 2007 meeting, possibly in conjunction with its annual Holocaust Conference.]
  • Two reports on special projects were then given:
    • James Buchanan showed a DVD and distributed materials about the Brueggeman Center's major exhibit: A Blessing to One Another: John Paul II and the Jewish People. This exhibit is designed to travel for display around the country and CCJR members were invited to consider sponsoring an exhibition in their insititutions. Click HERE for more information about the exhibit. James will be sending out a prospectus and DVD with detailed data. Contact him at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    • Philip Cunningham and Edward Kessler, co-editors, and Audrey Doetzel, managing editor, of the CCJR's new journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, provided an online presentations of the journal's website and features. Access it (at the new easier URL) at: . All members are urged to consider submitting articles for publication, particularly during its inaugural year. Hopefully, the first set of articles will be peer-reviewed in time for posting around the time of Nostra Aetate's fortieth anniversary in late October or early November. The Call for Papers can be found HERE and members are invited to disseminate it widely. [Note: Following the business meeting, David Sandmel (Bernardin Center) agreed to serve as an additional reviews editor.]
  • Old Business:
    • Returning to a topic introduced at the 2004 business meeting, Audrey Doetzel clarified that the Board consider not membership for individuals working in the field of interfaith relations, but rather some sort of networking affiliation with CCJR that would provide support and resources. The Board will explore the issue, possibly with the aid of an ad hoc committee, and offer a recommendation at the next annual meeting.
  • New Business:
    • Lawrence Frizzell suggested that at future annual meetings member centers and institutes submit a brief report on their activities for the past year as a way of keeping each other informed and of providing ideas and resources. The suggestion met with general approval.
  • The meeting adjourned shortly after three p.m.


At a brief meeting of the new CCJR Board of Directors, two matters were discussed that will be pursued further in the near future. One was the status of member organizations who fail to meet annual dues commitments. The second was an informal invitation from the National Council of Synagogues, which has Liaison Representative membership in CCJR, to partner with CCJR in holding semi-annual theological dialogues. The Board expressed its interest in the concept and looks forward to developing the idea with NCS.