The Catholic-Jewish Conference, founded in 1975, is dedicated to the premise that understanding is the bedrock of mutual respect…it underscores the proposition that the journey to God can take many paths and that each person has an inviolable right to his or her religious convictions.
The consensus of this organization is that both Jews and Catholics be assured of reinforcing support when the faith or concerns of one or the other is challenged, thus helping to build a bulwark against such catastrophic events that have occurred in our time and in the past.
The Catholic-Jewish Conference was established in 1975 at the initiative of the Ecumenical Commission of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in response to the documents of Vatican Council II, particularly, Nostra Aetate. The Conference is a joint committee of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Office of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Wisconsin Council of Rabbis.
Since its inception, the Conference has issued joint statements on issues of common concern, offered lecture series on topics of interest to Catholics and Jews, sponsored significant community-wide events, initiated home dialogues as well as a dialogue between rabbis and priests, hosted interfaith Seders in conjunction with local synagogues, and co-sponsored several interfaith missions to Israel.
Shortly after its founding, the Conference issued a statement against Christian proselytizing of Jews. In 1977, a delegation from the Council of Rabbis and the Synagogue Council attended the ordination of Archbishop Rembert Weakland. In 1981, Milwaukee was the host of the 6th National Workshop of Christian-Jewish Relations. These early events set a firm foundation for the growth of Catholic-Jewish relations in Milwaukee. Through the years, lecture series featuring local and national speakers have touched on such topics as: public service, the Holocaust, forgiveness, justice, ritual and practice, church and state, scripture, the land, racism, the reaction of sacred tests, and many others. Read more.
Throughout 2015 the JCRC celebrated the 50th annniversary of Nostra Aetate, a landmark Vatican II document that transformed Catholic-Jewish relations. It was sponsored by the Catholic-Jewish Conference, a 40-year-old program of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.
Learn for more information about Nostra Aetate (ADL).
View Photos from the “Celebrating Nostra Aetate” Concert
View the PBS Recording of the “Celebrating Nostra Aetate” Concert
The Catholic-Jewish Conference is a program of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Concerns of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.