|Report on the First Annual Meeting|
Center for Continuing Formation, Baltimore
October 27-28, 2002
Sunday, October 27
Adoption of the Bylaws
The first business meeting of the CCJR was conducted by the outgoing Steering Committee, chaired by John Pawlikowski. Revised Bylaws were proposed and unanimously accepted. The revisions were designed to assist in the incorporation process, the final step for CCJR membership in the International Council of Christians and Jews [ICCJ].
Steering Committee (L to R:) Philip Cunningham, John Pawlikowski, Barry Cytron, Franklin Sherman
The Board of Directors was then elected. The slate proposed by the Steering Committee was unanimously approved:
Applications for Affiliate Memberships and Liaison Representatives were then voted upon and unanimously accepted:
Several topics were discussed in a preliminary way and referred to the Board of Directors for further work. These included: possible collaboration with the National Workshops on Jewish-Christian Relations, the need for a webmaster for jcrelations.net, the Faith and Freedom organization that is being formed to promote accurate information about the Middle-east, and invitations from the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education and the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel to participate in planned educational projects.
PANEL: "HOW IT LOOKS FROM HERE"
The business meeting was followed by remarks from three centers on their perspectives on Christian-Jewish relations. Christopher Leighton told of the experiences of the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies in Baltimore, Peter Zaas spoke about events in the Albany area and the Hayyim Kieval Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies at Siena College, and Barry Cytron described the origins and activities of the Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Learning, which is co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas and St. John's University in Minnesota.
(L to R:) Christopher Leighton, Peter Zaas, Barry Cytron
Monday, October 28
A CONVERSTION WITH DAVID BERGER AND MICHAEL SIGNER ON DABRU EMET
The morning began with a stimulating exchange between David Berger of Brooklyn College and Michael Signer of the University of Notre Dame on "Dabru Emet: Sic et Non." The session was presided over by Peter Pettit, newly elected CCJR chair. Prof. Berger explained his reservations with Dabru Emet, focusing especially on the question of avodah zarah - whether the Jewish tradition considers Christianity to be engaged in "strange worship." He also observed that the current unrest in the Mideast heightens the importance and questions the accuracy of Dabru Emet's claim that Christians can affirm the importance of the Land of Israel for Jews. Prof. Signer, one of the four authors of Dabru Emet, characterized the eight statements within that document as inviting readers to decide "sic et non," to engage them in the challenge of reacting to major changes in Christian teaching about Jews and Judaism.
(L to R:) Michael Signer, David Berger, Peter Pettit
DISTAINCE LEARNING IN JEWISH-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS: A DEMONSTRATION
Edward Kessler, director of the Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations at Cambridge University, offered a presentation on how distance learning in Christian-Jewish relations is being offered over the Internet by his university. He generously provided CDs to provide a "tour" of how their Master's degree program functions. His remarks stimulated conversation about how colleges and universities in the United States might collaborate with and/or avail themselves of this valuable resource.
THE FUTURE OF OUR WORK TOGETHER
The first annual meeting concluded with brainstorming about the future activities of the CCJR and a discussion about its imminent full membership in the International Council of Christians and Jews. Friedhelm Pieper, ICCJ executive secretary and John Pawlikowski, ICCJ president, discussed ICCJ activities and plans, including the 2003 meeting in Utrecht and a possible 2005 meeting in Chicago.
First CCJR Chair, Peter Pettit and ICCJ General Secretary, Friedhelm Pieper
The brainstorming discussion about CCJR initiatives included the following:
The Second Annual CCJR meeting will occur on October 26-27, 2003 in the Boston area. Details to be announced.