Report on the Tenth Annual Meeting

Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations

Report on the Tenth Annual Meeting

Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey

Sunday, October 30, 2011 - Tuesday, Novermber 1, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kurt Koch thumbTo mark the tenth annual meeting of the Council, an extra day was added to the typical schedule.

The meeting opened with a keynote address by His Eminence Kurt Cardinal Koch entitled, "Theological Questions and Perspectives in Jewish-Catholic Dialogue." The occasion was also the 18th Annual Msgr. John M. Oesterreicher Memorial Lecture.

The final text of the cardinal's wide-ranging address is available HERE.

[As of May 1, 2012, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations has devoted some of its Vol. 7 to a symposium on the cardinal's address with reflections from Philip A. Cunningham, Adam Gregerman, Eugene Korn, Peter C. Phan, Karla Suomala, and Jesper Svartvik. Click HERE.]

Following the lecture and dinner, Cardinal Koch participated in an informal conversation with members of the CCJR and the Seton Hall community. This private conversation has been the subject of some inaccurate media reports to which the CCJR Board has responded with a letter accessible HERE.

Monday, October 31, 2011

This full-day of the annual meeting featured three panel discussions:

  1. "Toward a Jewish Theology of Its Relationship to Christianity" with Alan Brill (Seton Hall) and Michael Kogan (Montclair State), moderated by Peter Zaas (Siena College).

  2. "Toward a Christian Theology of Its Relationship to Judaism" with Mary Boys (Union Theological), Philip Cunningham (Saint Joseph's), and John Pawlikowski (Catholic Theological Union), moderated by guest interviewer Paul Knitter (Union Theological).

  3. "Young Voices in the Dialogue" with Bridget O'Brien (Notre Dame), Ari Gordon (U. Penn), Rori Picker Neiss (Yeshivat Maharat), and Demetrios Tonias (Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston), moderated by Elena Procario-Foley (Iona).

2011 Shevet achim thumbThe day concluded with a festive dinner during which Rabbi A. James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor for the American Jewish Committee and long-time advocate for positive relations between Jews and Christians, was awarded the Council's Shevet Achim Award for Outstanding Contributions to Christian-Jewish Understanding. Testimonials were given by Judith Banki, Noam Marans, and John Pawlikowski.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The day began with the annual "View from Here" panel, which this year considered the topic "Approaches to Jewish and Christian Interreligious Activities with Muslims." The panelists were James Buchanan (Xavier University), Ulrich Rosenhagen (University of Wisconsin), and Fredrick Schweitzer (Manhattan College), moderated by Eric Greenberg (ADL).

CCJR Business Meeting (Regular Members, Affiliate Members, Liaison Representatives)

The business meeting was convened by the chair, Elena Procario-Foley, at 11:10 a.m. A quorum was achieved through the presence of representatives of these institutional regular members: Boston College, Catholic Theological Union, Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Iona College, Manhattan College, Mulhenberg College, Sacred Heart Seminary, Saint Joseph's University, Siena College, Seton Hall University, Seton Hill University, Sisters of Sion, Tanenbaum Center, and Xavier University.

  1. Board elections. Following the report of the Nominations Committee, a unanimous vote approved the slate of officers it presented. The new Board of Directors, therefore, consists of Chair: Ruth Langer (Boston College) 2014, Vice-Chair: Peter Zaas (Siena College) 2012, Secretary-Treasurer: Philip Cunningham (Saint Joseph's) 2014, and At-large members: Alan Brill (Seton Hall) 2014, and Kevin Spicer (Stonehill College) 2012. [The years indicate the expiration of their respective terms.] The Council unanimously expressed its gratitude to outgoing chair Elena Procario-Foley for all her hard and excellent work over the past seven years. She thanked the other Board members and presided over the remainder of the meeting as acting chair.

  2. Annual Meetings 2012 and 2013. The acting chair announced that the 2012 annual meeting will be hosted by the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue; Dr. James Buchanan, Director; Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. The 2013 meeting will be hosted by the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College; Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, Director; Riverdale (Bronx), New York.

  3. New Member Applications. Two new regular membership applications were discussed by the membership. The applications by the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA and the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Jewish Theological Seminary, NY were unanimously approved.

  4. WeismannCCJRICCJ. Deborah Weissman, president of the International Council of Christians and Jews reported on its activities. After describing various initiatives of the ICCJ, she thanked the CCJR for its support as the USA member organization of the ICCJ (including scholarships to the Young Leadership Council), and for its exemplary initiatives in Christian-Jewish relations.

  5. SCJR. The managing editor of the CCJR's journal, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, Camille Markey, gave its report. The editorial team has decided to move away from thematic issues in order to generate more peer-reviewed submissions. Many proceedings and book reviews have been published in addition to the peer-reviewed essays.

  6. Treasurer's Report. Philip Cunningham reported on the current balance in the CCJR's account and presented a proposal for the 2011-2012 budget. Both are available to members upon request. The proposed budget was unanimously approved.

  7. Chair's Report. Elena Procario-Foley described the progress and expansion of the Council's activities in recent years, and especially in 2010-2011. Those present again expressed their gratitude for her able leadership since 2005.

  8. Old Business: Student Memberships. As per previous conversations, Peter Zaas prepared proposals to initiate two types of student memberships: undergraduates and graduates. The following descriptions of these new types of membership were unanimously approved. Appropriate application forms will be prepared.

    1. Graduate Student membership. Students in master’s and doctoral programs in fields related to the mission of the CCJR are invited to apply for Graduate Student Membership. Such memberships confer the same benefits as Individual Memberships (website privileges, attendance at national meetings) but carry no fee as long as the student remains in his or her graduate program. When the student leaves the program, s/he may decide to become an Individual Member. The membership application will include an academic résumé and a personal statement describing how the student feels her or his work connects to the mission of the CCJR. Membership is at the discretion of the CCJR Board.

    2. Undergraduate Student membership. Undergraduate students contemplating entering a field related to the mission of the CCJR are invited to apply for Undergraduate Student Membership. Such memberships confer the same benefits as Individual Members (website privileges, attendance at national meetings), but carry no fee. Undergraduate Student Memberships expire when the student graduates or otherwise leaves college. The membership application will include an academic transcript, a personal statement describing why the student would like to join the CCJR, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member at the student’s undergraduate institution. Membership is at the discretion of the CCJR Board.

  9. New Business: Media at CCJR annual meetings. In the wake of the inaccurate newspaper reporting of the informal conversation between CCJR members and this year's keynote speaker, CCJR's confidentiality policy its non-public proceedings were reviewed and reiterated. The Board will ensure that planning for future meetings will abide by this procedure.

The meeting adjourned at 12: 25 p.m.