Fall 2019 Newsletter
Dear Friends of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies: 

I hope this newsletter finds you well. Below you can find information on our upcoming programs, as well as a number of other recent activities. On Tuesday, November 5th, we are excited to welcome Dr. Ruth Langer, Professor of Jewish Studies in the Theology Department at Boston College, and 15th recipient of the Eternal Light Award. We are also happy to announce that Rabbi Jack Bemporad will visit us in February. Please feel free to pass along this newsletter to friends who might be interested in CCJS programs. We look forward to seeing you soon.


Dr. Matthew Tapie
Director, Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies,
& Assistant Professor of Theology
Dinner and Dialogue 2019
Jews and Christians: Praying About Each Other


Dr. Ruth Langer

6:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | Higgins Hall, St. Lawrence Catholic Church
5225 N Himes Ave, Tampa, FL
 Dr. Ruth Langer  is Professor of Jewish Studies in the Theology Department at Boston College, and Associate Director of its Center for Christian-Jewish Learning. She is also chair of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations. Dr. Langer is author of  Jewish Liturgy: A Guide to Research  (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015);  Cursing the Christians?: A History of the Birkat HaMinim  (Oxford University Press, 2012);  To Worship God Properly: Tensions between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism (Hebrew Union College Press, 1998). She also co-edited  Liturgy in the Life of the Synagogue  (Eisenbrauns, 2005), and has published numerous articles.
Dinner and Dialogue is the CCJS's annual interreligious educational event for community leaders. Participants share a meal as they are guided in small group discussions by a leading scholar. The evening concludes with the Eternal Light Award ceremony, which honors those who have made contributions to Catholic-Jewish studies. Local religious institutions are invited to encourage leaders in their communities to attend. The event is co-sponsored by the CCJS, Congregation Schaarai Zedek, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Congregation Beth Am, and the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg. The Eternal Light Award will be presented once again by Rabbi James Rudin, co-founder of the Center.
Rabbi Jack Bemporad to visit February 2020
Rabbi Jack Bemporad will visit the CCJS in February. Rabbi Bemporad is Director of the non-profit Center for Interreligious Understanding in New Jersey, which he founded in 1992. He is also Director of the John Paul II Center and Professor of Interreligious Studies, both at the Vatican’s St. Thomas Aquinas University (the Angelicum) in Rome, where he has been teaching for the past 20 years. A major Jewish presence in Jewish-Catholic relations, Rabbi Bemporad is one of the rare Jewish leaders to have had a personal audience with Pope John XXIII, numerous personal audiences with Pope John Paul II, and was one of three rabbis to have blessed him shortly before his death. Rabbi Bemporad will speak Monday, February 3rd, at 7 p.m. at Congregation Schaarai Zedek . More details to come.
Graduate and Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Applications for CCJS Fellowships are due October 15th . The fellowships allow students with a strong interest in interreligious dialogue to conduct research for the CCJS's Interreligious Study and Dialogue Project , which locates religious institutions in the U.S. open to visits from Saint Leo students of a course recently designed by Dr. Tapie, World Religions in Dialogue . The fall application cycle runs from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, with awards disbursed this academic year. Apply through the scholarship website . This program is made possible by the generosity of the Cohn and Whiting families.
CCJS Fellows Tameka Limehouse, and Kaylee Martin, present their research on local religious institutions at Saint Leo's Academic Excellence Day; with Dr. Tapie and Dr. Woodard.
Video Archive of CCJS Programs now Available
A video archive of CCJS programs can be found on the new CCJS YouTube Channel . We encourage you to explore these videos, which include presentations by scholars such as Dr. Victoria Barnett, Dr. Phil Cunningham, and Dr. Pim Valkenberg, among others. The archive also includes video of Rabbi Abraham Skorka's lecture at Temple Emanu-El, Sarasota, as well as Dr. Susannah Heschel's response. Click here to access the archive.
Rabbi Skorka lectures at Temple Emanu-El, Sarasota, FL
CCJS Advisory Board Meeting
On February, 18th, 2019, the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, and Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Tampa, organized a lecture and reading session focused on medieval Jewish and Christian biblical commentaries. The session was led by Dr.  Devorah Schoenfeld , Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago; along with comments from Dr.  Kevin Hughes , Associate Professor, Villanova University. A video of the study session is available here . Many thanks to Rabbi  Josh Hearshen  for kindly hosting the event.
Dr. Devorah Schoenfeld lectures at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Tampa.
The following day, members of the board gathered in the CCJS to evaluate programs, and discuss future plans for the center. Board members also participated in an afternoon panel discussion, Traditions in Dialogue , which featured Dr. Devorah Schoenfeld, Dr. Alan Brill, Dr. Kevin Hughes, and Dr. John Borelli. The event was attended by over one hundred students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.
Board members meet in the CCJS to discuss future plans.
Faculty News
On Saturday, March 9th, Dr. Tapie gave three lectures on the history and theology of the Second Vatican Council’s declaration, Nostra Aetate , for the Catholic deacons of South Carolina. On May 5th, Dr. Tapie delivered a lecture on the life of French-Jewish historian and Holocaust survivor, Jules Isaac, at the annual Yom HaShoah event of the Diocese of Venice, Florida. You can read more about this event in an article, which appeared in Florida Catholic . In April and August, Dr. Tapie published journal articles related to the Mortara affair. The articles can can be found here , and here .
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