In Memory of Michael Signer

In Memory of Rabbi Dr. Michael Signer

Michael_SignerRabbi Dr. Michael Signer served since 1992 at the University of Notre Dame as the Abrams Chair of Jewish Thought and Culture and Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project. Before that he was Professor of Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.

His interest in interreligious affairs began during his doctoral studies at the Center for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and he later participated in the Priest-Rabbi dialogue at St. John's Seminary, where he and others founded the St. John's/Hebrew Union College academic exchange.

He taught in universities in Berlin and Augsburg, and was an American Jewish Committee Scholar at Catholic Institutions in Poland.

Michael Signer was the author and editor of five books on topics that range from Medieval Latin biblical commentaries to contemporary Jewish-Christian relations, and was one of the four authors of the historic statement, Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity.


Michael Signer was among the founders of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, and delivered an important paper on Dabru Emet at its first annual meeting on October 28, 2002.

At its 2008 annual meeting, the CCJR unanimously passed a resolution honoring Michael Signer for his many contributions:

  • he served the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations as Vice-Chair from 2005-2008, providing wise and distinguished leadership to the Council,
  • he has for decades inspired thousands of students at the University of Notre Dame and Hebrew Union College to promote understanding between Jews and Christians,
  • he has significantly advanced the state of Jewish-Christian dialogue through his courageous work on Dabru Emet,
  • he has supported the work of the discussion group "Jews and Christians" of the Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken and of numerous interfaith initiatives in Poland,

For these and other contributions, the Council of Centers expresses its sorrow, but also gratitude, through a Book of Tribute.

Read the dozens of tributes to Michael Signer by clicking here.