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Newsletter 2013 - Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations CSJCR

Newsletter 2013 - Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations CSJCR

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Published by Faydra Shapiro
Summer 2013 Report on Activities by Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations at Yezreel Valley College, Israel.
Summer 2013 Report on Activities by Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations at Yezreel Valley College, Israel.

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Published by: Faydra Shapiro on Aug 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Summer 2013 “Remembering the Past, Envisioning the Future”

Message from Professor Ariela Lowenstein, President of YVC
Each week, Jews around the world read a designated section of the Torah. It is a common practice that, when we reach the end of any reading any one of the Five Books of Moses the synagogue congregation cries out “Chazak Chazak, v’Nitchazek” – “be strong, be strong, and together we shall be strengthened”. We can reasonably ask why anyone would need such strengthening at such a powerful moment. Isn’t this an occasion for feeling triumphant? For exultation? But it is precisely those moments of transition, of standing on the edge, looking to the past and envisioning the future these are among the most challenging. Did we achieve all that we could in the past? Do we have what it takes to meet the future? We at YVC are proud of what’s been accomplished in the first full year of programming at the Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations. I am excited by our ability to not only meet, but to actually mold and shape the future. And we at YVC know it is together where we shall be truly strengthened.

Message from Dr. Faydra Shapiro, Director of the Galilee CSJCR
Our annual newsletter is an exciting opportunity to look back on where we’ve been, and to gaze ahead toward the possibilities held by the future. This ability to remember the past while envisioning the future is also one of the great challenges faced by Jews and Christians today. Some people think that the solution to our estrangement is to be found in overlooking and in forgetting. In erasing the past and moving forward and moving on. At the CSJCR we feel differently, that the path forward is not to be found in forgetting, but precisely in its opposite. The path forward is only to be found in remembering the past. And there is much to remember: our similarities and our differences, our places of connection and our separations. How we’ve enriched one other and how we’ve sinned against one another. We strive to remember these, and to also remember our true natures, our futures, our shared hopes, our challenges. We are proud to share this newsletter with you, with some of the highlights of our first full year of programming. The CSJCR has already impacted hundreds of people, in Israel and overseas. We are grateful for your support, and are sure you’ll agree that the future – with your help - looks full of promise.

Welcome to our Board of Directors
In accordance with YVC procedures for the management of research centers, the Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations is proud to announce the membership our Board of Directors whose job it is to provide accountability and support for our Center. Dr. Ruth Amir Dr. Yaakov Azuelos Dr. Dafna Halperin Mr. Fadoul Mazzawi Mr. Kamal Shajrawi Dr. Faydra Shapiro Ms. Henia Tirosh

Fellows Program
After an application process open to all students at Yezreel Valley College a select group of students were selected as our 2012-2013 CSJCR fellows. Dr. Faydra Shapiro, lead them in an intensive reading seminar in Jewish-Christian relations and participants were required to do research, hands-on work in Jewish-Christian relations, and spend time learning about local Christian life in Israel. Here are comments about the program from some of our 2012-2013 fellows:

I learned a lot of things I didn’t know…Christians are like the Jews and we believe in the same God...They love the holy places of Israel and feel connected to them. I am happy to get to know this religion. I am no longer so closed-minded in my opinions.


Our meetings made me understand the depth of the closeness that exists between Jews and our brothers (yes, brothers) - Christians.


One of the fascinating things…is to be in a mixed class with Christians and Jews, young and old, from various parts of the country, religious and secular, to learn together the history, talk about solutions to conflicts without fear, without judging, recognizing the beautiful on each side, the ugly on each side, and to realize how important co-existence is anywhere, and particularly in our country, Israel.


When I first heard about the program I was not sure where we were headed... Now I may proudly say that this is certainly one of the special programs we have ever been offered. The program provides us the opportunity to explore & confront one of the major issues in Israel, and enables Jews and Christians to meet each other and exchange ideas.



Conference: Jewish-Christian Relations in the Shadow of the Shoah

In Memory of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini 1927-2012

On June 16, 2013 the Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations hosted hundreds of Jews and Christians from Italy and Israel who came together to honor the memory of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. Cardinal Martini was an accomplished scholar, and a public defender of the reforms of Vatican II, a man whose passions included the Bible, his beloved Jerusalem, and the possibilities for dialogue and peace between Jews and Christians. He insisted that "Simple anti-antisemitism is not enough. It is thus necessary to develop motivations for a friendship that in the heart of the other increasingly reads the thoughts that we share, and that finds a space for the differences, making sure however that these differences do not lead to conflict or dismissal." The historic nature of the evening was evident by the speakers, a lineup that included the Italian ambassador to Israel (His Excellency Francesco Maria Talo), the Latin patriarchal vicar of Israel (His Excellency Bishop Giacinto BoulosMarcuzzo) the president of the Italian Rabbinical Council and former chief rabbi of Venice (Rabbi Eliyahu Richetti), and the president of Yezreel Valley College (Professor Ariela Lowenstein). Other distinguished guests included His Eminence Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Rabbi Anshel Kreiman, former chief rabbi of Chile.

Rabbi Eliyahu Richetti

His Excellency Bishop BoulosMarcuzzo speaking with Dr. Faydra Shapiro of the CSJCR

Rev. David Neuhaus, SJ

Pre-Conference Reception

Undergraduate Courses for Israeli Students
The Galilee CSJCR sponsors courses in Hebrew related to Jewish-Christian Relations through the department of Interdisciplinary Studies at YVC. Hundreds of Israelis have the opportunity to learn about the topic, and to impact their own families and communities with what they learn. Courses Planned for 2013-2014 • Jewish-Christian Relations • Introduction to Christianity • The New Testament in Its Jewish Environment • Jews and Christians in the Middle East

Jerusalem Seminar in Christian-Jewish Relations

Every two months, under the auspices of the CSJCR, a very special group of about 20 scholars from all over Israel meet at the renowned Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem to discuss research issues in Jewish-Christian relations. This year we have focused our energy on the characteristics and limits of Christian anti-Judaism.

Teaching Visitors from Abroad

One of our special privileges is to enrich the Israel experiences of Christian visitors abroad through teaching and encounter sessions at the Galilee CSJCR. We’ve taught visitors from over 14 countries!

With Eagles’ Wings Israel Experience Scholars

With Christians for Israel (C4I)

About the Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations
The mission of the Center is to expand knowledge about and stimulate wider interest in JewishChristian relations. We strive for excellence in three core areas: • • • Encouraging academic research in Jewish-Christian relations Teaching about Jewish-Christian relations Supporting Jewish-Christian engagement in Israel

At the Galilee CSJCR we recognize that Jewish-Christian relations are about far more than just theological differences. Jews and Christians share a unique relationship, both as distinct religious traditions that are inextricably linked, and as communities with a long and complex history of interaction. Drawing on many fields of study, including theology, scripture, language, history and sociology, we aim to empower and equip Jews and Christians with the tools to engage each other and the complex world we face.

What else have we been up to?
In addition to the above, we have also been busy: • Encouraging research in Jewish-Christian relations through seed grants to faculty • Offering an international essay contest for undergraduate students on the topic of JewishChristian relations and the State of Israel • Developing relationships with local Jews and Christians • Building up our library in Jewish-Christian relations

How We Plan to Grow in the Next Two Years…
• • • • • Expand our fellows program and course offerings Develop an intensive, two- week Summer program in English Offer a summer sabbatical program for clergy and faculty Grow our income-generating programs Build our Center’s online presence and course offerings

How to Join us for Partnerships and Support
There are many ways you can help us to sustain and further this inspiring new initiative. We would welcome your one-time or ongoing financial support. You may also explore a strategic partnership between your institution and the Galilee CSJCR. Please contact Sagi Melamed, VP of External Relations & Development at sagim@yvc.ac.il, or Dr. Faydra Shapiro at jcrelations@yvc.ac.il, to discuss how you can become involved.

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