CCJR Concludes 11th Annual Meeting

Xavier University and
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion

Cincinnati, Ohio

Sunday, October 14 - Monday, October 15, 2012


Sunday, October 14, 2012   

The meeting began with a public program at Xavier University: "Why the Jewishness of Jesus is Important.”  Speakers Arthur Dewey (Xavier University) and Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University) addressed the topic from different perspectives. A lively discussion period followed.  The panel was moderated by Anne Heekin (Iona College).John Pawlikowski and Ruth Langer

At the dinner following the public program, the Council presented its Shevet Achim Award for Outstanding Contributions to Christian-Jewish Understanding to John Pawlikowski, Professor of Social Ethics at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he also directs the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program in the school's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Center. Testimonials were given by David Sandmel (CTU ), Victoria Barnett (United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum), Judith Banki (Tanenbaum Center), and Gemma del Duca (Seton Hill University).

Amy-Jill Levine, Marc Brettler, Michael CookMonday, October 15, 2012

The morning began with a panel entitled "Contemporary Jewish Engagement with the New Testament." The panelists, Marc Brettler (Brandeis), Michael Cook (Hebrew Union College), and Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt) are all biblical scholars and editors (Brettler and Levine) and contributors (all three) to the recently published, The Jewish Annotated New Testament. The panel was moderated by Philip Cunningham (Saint Joseph's University.)



The annual business meeting was convened by the chair, Ruth Langer (Boston College) at 11 a.m.  A quorum was achieved through the presence of representatives of these institutional regular members: Boston College, Catholic Theological Union, Creighton University, Holy Cross College, Iona College, Saint Joseph's University, Seton Hall University, Siena College, Spring Hill College, Tanenbaum Center, and Xavier University.

The chair began by thanking James Buchanan and Cynthia Cummins of Xavier University for their outstanding hospitality.

  1. Board Nominations and Election. Elena Procario-Foley, who served as the nominating committee, presented the following slate for the Board of Directors: Vice-chair: Kevin Spicer (Stonehill College) to replace the outgoing Peter Zaas; At-large Member: Ronald Simkins (Creighton University) replacing Kevin Spicer.  The chair thanked Elena Procario-Foley for her report. There were no nominations from the floor. The slate was approved by unanimous consent.  The membership applauded Peter Zaas for his seven years of service on the Board.

  2. Annual Meetings for 2013 and 2014.  The 2013 meeting will be hosted by the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College in Riverdale (Bronx), New York. The Center is directed by Menhaz Afridi. After considering possible dates, the membership agreed on Sun-Mon, Oct 20-21, 2013.  The 2014 meeting will be hosted by the Mobile Dialogue Group at Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama.

  3. New Member Application.  The Board has received an application for affiliate (overseas) membership from the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Collaboration in Efrat/Gush Etzion.  An introductory brochure was distributed to the membership.  In the ensuing discussion several members felt a lack of sufficient information to be able to cast a vote.  It became apparent that the transition to the new website platform several years ago resulted in our requesting inadequate information in the application process.  It also became clear that this application raised unresolved questions about CCJR's membership policy regarding groups either associated with or defined as Christian Zionist entities.

    In this light, the following actions were moved and seconded and unanimously approved:

    A. The Board will develop a detailed list of required applications materials.

    B. These applications materials will be formally approved at the next business meeting in 2013. Meanwhile,

    C. The CJCUC will be invited to resubmit its application for affiliate membership according to the standards developed in "A". The application will be voted upon at the next business meeting.

    D. The Board will assemble a committee to develop guidelines on CCJR's standards vis-a-vis Evangelical and/or Christian Zionist organizations in case there will be such membership applications in the future.

  4. International Council of Christians and Jews Report. Phil Cunningham reported that the ICCJ had a successful annual meeting in Manchester, U.K. last July.  The next meeting will be in Aix-en-Provence, France from Sunday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 3, 2013. In the wake of increasing tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ICCJ Executive Board will be holding an extended meeting this February 11-15 in London to develop written policies about relevant subjects.  Phil also distributed a "Concept Map" for the multi-year research project of the ICCJ Research Council, which is entitled: "Promise, Land, and Hope: Jews and Christians Seeking Understanding to Enable Constructive Dialogue about Israeli-Palestinian Issues." The research team will meet next August in Chicago to continue its work.

  5. Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations Report.  Co-editor Kevin Spicer reported on the articles, proceeedings, and book reviews that have been published in the last year. Under Adam Gregerman's (Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies) leadership, the reviews have been particularly comprehensive.  Kevin urged that CCJR members consider submitting articles for peer-reviewed publication. Many articles submitted in this category have been rejected, resulting in smaller number of published articles than desirable.

  6. Secretary/Treasurer's Report.  Phil Cunningham presented the Treasurer's Report for 2011-2012 and the Proposed Budget for 2012-2013. Both are available to members not present upon request.  The report was received and the budget approved unanimously.

  7. Chair's Report.  Ruth Langer thanked everyone for their timely response to the Board's op-ed about the d'var Torah of Rabbi Herschel Schachter.

    Mention was made about the recent controversial letter to congress about U.S. aid to Israel that was signed mostly by leaders of mainline Protestant churches. No CCJR action was felt to be needed at this time.

  8. Old Business:  none.

  9. New Business: Ruth Langer congratulated the Institute for Jewish & Christian Studies in Baltimore on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. She also congratulated Burton Visotzky (Jewish Theological Seminary) for receiving the the 2012 Ignać Goldziher Prize for Jewish-Muslim Relations from the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College. She asked for and received unanimous consent to convey the CCJR's congratulations to them.

    The chair also noted that the By-laws do not specify the process for removing from membership organizations that have not paid dues for two consecutive.  The Board will develop a proposal to amend the By-laws accordingly and present the proposal to the membership before the 2013 annual business meeting.  Ruth also noted that the By-laws need to reflect "North America" as the region for possible members in the liaison representatives category.

  10. Adjournment. The business meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.


Viewing "A Blessing to One Another" After lunch, members were able to view the exhibit, "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People." The exhibit was created and produced by Xavier University, Hillel Jewish Student Center, and the Shtetl Foundation. James Buchanan (Xavier) and William Madges (Saint Joseph's University), who were among the designers of the exhibit, guided CCJR members through the story of John Paul II's life and the work of his papacy in promoting reconciliation between Jews and Catholics. CCJR members are urged to consider bringing the exhibit to their locations before it moves to Europe in a few years.

The annual meeting concluded with two text studies led by Jewish contributors to The Jewish Annotated New Testament.  Michael Cook (HUC) led participants in a study of Mark's Last Supper narrative and Peter Zaas (Siena College) considered the halakhic dimensions of Joseph's concerns about his pregnant fiancée in Matthew's infancy narrative.

At the end of the meeting, everyone again thanked our hosts at the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University and at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, especially James Buchanan and Cynthia Cummins, for all their hard work and hospitality.