How the Catholic Church forever changed Jewish life

At the clergy convocation in my diocese last week, a rabbi got up to speak about the 50th anniversary of Nostre Aetate and noted this sobering fact: when he was growing up in New Jersey in the 1960s, he would try to time his departure from school so that he wouldn’t run into the Catholic kids who [Read More…]

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One of the pope’s unscheduled stops: to bless a statue showing respect for Jewish people

This didn’t get much attention, but it should. From The Forward: Nearly 50 years after the Vatican officially proclaimed Jews free of guilt in the killing of Jesus, Pope Francis made a surprise change to his schedule on the final day of his U.S. tour to convey his own message of respect for the Jewish [Read More…]

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Great moments in journalism: TV station uses Nazi emblem to send Yom Kippur greetings to viewers

Details:  A Chicago television news station made a truly unfortunate art choice to accompany a segment on the Jewish High Holidays on Wednesday: the yellow Star of David that Jews were legally required to wear during the Holocaust. The stock photo was first flagged by a Chicago editor, who posted a screenshot of the WGN news [Read More…]

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A Jewish writer asks: “Why haven’t Jews responded to Vatican II?”

An interesting, perhaps even surprising, perspective, from The Forward:  The arrival of Pope Francis in America and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s landmark declaration, Nostra Aetate, have allowed us, as Jews, to marvel at the revolutionary developments in our relations with the Catholic Church in the past half-century. But while the church [Read More…]

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What happened when an Orthodox Jewish woman met the pope

She couldn’t bow to him. So he bowed to her. I’m surprised this story hasn’t gotten more attention: The pontiff has drawn the attention of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, after bowing to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s bureau chief. Various Orthodox blogs released an image of the papal bow on Sunday, from Rivlin’s trip to Rome last week. According [Read More…]

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Attending a Catholic college but becoming Jewish

This is an interesting meditation by the daughter of a mixed-faith family—but it seems to me this shows the potential pitfalls of choosing to not choose a faith for your children: Growing up in Harrison, New York, 10 minutes outside the Bronx, everyone I knew was Italian, Jewish or both. Mine was a pretty secular [Read More…]

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Elf on a shelf? What are you, meshugenah??

You need a Mensch on a Bench! But somehow I don’t think it’s a deacon’s bench. Details:  Elf on a Shelf has quickly become a part of many families’ Christmas celebrations over the past few years. When Neal Hoffman’s young son Jacob asked if they could have an Elf, Hoffman came up with an idea [Read More…]

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Hallmark pulls wrapping paper over complaint about “swastika pattern”

The Kansas City Star reports: A Walgreen’s customer in California saw a blue and silver roll of gift wrap that at first glance looked like Hannukah paper. At second glance, she saw a swastika in the design. Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc., which licensed the wrapping paper rolls, heard about the problem Sunday night and [Read More…]

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“Look to media as an apostolic opportunity…”

Some solid advice and a little bit of wisdom, via Catholic News Agency:  Catholics should see the secular media as an opportunity to evangelize and more effectively reach “people who need heroes and need the Gospel,” said the head of a Catholic communications organization. “Look to media as an apostolic opportunity. Call reporters, be their friends. [Read More…]

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