Rabbi Abraham Skorka to receive Council's Shevet Achim Award at CCJR conference on Nov. 4th

Skorka saThe Board of Directors of the CCJR is delighted to announce that the Council's 2018 Shevet Achim honoree for outstanding contributions to Christian-Jewish relations will be Rabbi Abraham Skorka. He will receive the award from CCJR Chair Kevin Spicer at a celebratory dinner during the Council's annual conference on Sunday, November 4, 2018. 

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 throughout 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. In 2013, Rabbi Skorka's friendship with Cardinal Bergoglio was suddenly catapulted to international attention when his friend became Pope Francis. Since then, they have sometimes been travel companions — notably during the papal pilgrimage to Israel in May 2014 — seeking to model the possibilities, importance, and blessings of Christian-Jewish dialogue. Rabbi Skorka regularly publishes essays and delivers addresses around the world about Christian-Jewish relations. With Pope Francis, he stresses the need for personal trust and friendship in interreligious dialogue, as in the short video available HERE

Beginning in the fall of 2018, Rabbi Skorka will be a visiting University Professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. 

The title of the Shevet Achim award comes from the Hebrew text of Psalm 133:1 — "Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell [shevet achim] together in unity!"  The CCJR has bestowed this honor annually since 2008. Click HERE for a list of past recipients.