John Paul II Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Jerusalem

On January, 31st 2019, a memorable event took place at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. It was part of a year-long celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue, a partnership between the Russell Berrie Foundation and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome. More than 50 religious leaders, practitioners, scholars and students, representing a rich tapestry of faiths and perspectives, gathered to reaffirm their commitment to interfaith bridge-building.

During the event leaders and participants reflected on the work of John Paul II Center and its flagship program, the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies. Russell Berrie fellows and alumni continue to have an impact on the field of interreligious dialogue itself — publishing articles, organizing conferences, different projects and otherwise shaping this important field.

It was particularly meaningful to mark the John Paul II Center’s first decade with a gathering in Jerusalem, a holy city to so many faiths and a place that the fellows visit each year as part of their Israel Academic Seminar. The Israel seminar is repeatedly cited by alumni as a highlight of their Fellowship experience. Click here to see a video that captures Fellows’ impressions.

The highlight of the celebration was a moving musical performance of Tamar Applebaum and Kehilat Zion, a group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim artists who performed musical prayers of peace for the Holy City.