CCJU to Honor Co-Founder and Former Director, Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz

News Story: August 1, 2010
Rabbi Joseph H. Ehrenkranz

The Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University will honor its co-founder and former executive director, Rabbi Joseph H. Ehrenkranz, at its 13th Nostra Aetate Dinner. The special event will take place on Thursday, October 14, at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, beginning at 6:00 P.M.

Established in 1992, the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding is an educational and research division of Sacred Heart University, a direct outgrowth of the Second Vatican Council's teachings that encourage interreligious dialogue and understanding. Warmly endorsed by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, the Center has hosted conferences across the globe on themes related to dialogue between these two great religious traditions. The Center has also organized study trips for bishops and rabbis to such settings as Auschwitz and the Vatican and each year hosts seminars for students in training for ordained ministry. These highly successful forums led to the creation of the Colleagues in Dialogue series for alumni of the program who are now newly ordained and working to make cooperation and dialogue an important part of their work.

The Rabbi Emeritus of Agudath Sholom Synagogue in Stamford, which he joined as a student rabbi in 1948 and led to become the largest Orthodox congregation in New England, Rabbi Ehrenkranz has spent a lifetime working for reconciliation between religious traditions, most notably Judaism and Roman Catholicism. He has represented the Synagogue Council of America before the United Nations and has met with popes and other religious leaders across the world in his quest for peace. With Sacred Heart University President Anthony J. Cernera, he co-founded the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding in 1992 and led it to become an international leader in interreligious and ecumenical issues.

The Rabbi will receive this year’s only Nostra Aetate Award for his outstanding contributions to a world at peace. The honor is named for the short but very influential document issued by the Second Vatican Council that repudiated traditional teachings of contempt for Judaism and absolved the Jewish people from collective guilt over the death of Jesus.

Honorary chairs for this year’s Nostra Aetate Dinner include William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore; Professor Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; Rabbi Marc D. Angel, the founder and director of the Jewish Institute for Ideas and ideals; Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, a pioneer in Jewish-Christian relations and author of the acclaimed book, For the Sake of Heaven and Earth: The New Encounter between Judaism and Christianity; Dr. Edmond Israel, honorary chairman of Clearstream International; and President Richard M. Joel of Yeshiva University.

Tickets for this special event are $500 apiece. All proceeds will support the Center’s educational and outreach programs. For further information, contact Anthony A. Cernera, director of development for the CCJU, at 203-365-4850.