Rabbi Abie Ingber to Lead Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University

Ingber assumes new role on July 1. | June 30, 2008

Rabbi Abie Ingber will lead a new initiative at Xavier University effective July 1, 2008. It must be beshert – Ingber’s favorite Yiddish word which means destiny.


Ingber will take the lead at Xavier as the founding director of Interfaith Community Engagement (ICE). The mission is to impact and create community among diverse faith individuals at Xavier, and though interfaith dialogue engage the larger Cincinnati and national community. Ingber will assume his duties after retiring as the executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center of Cincinnati, a position he’s held for more than 30 years.


“This initiative will help double Xavier’s efforts to help young people figure out who they are, but will help them discover who the person next to them is as well,” Ingber said.


One of the projects ICE will undertake is a Jewish cemetery restoration project in Poland next summer. Called “Living Memory,” the project is a partnership between Xavier and Hillel of Cincinnati.


“This partnership will not only bring together Christians and Jews to restore Jewish cemeteries,” said Ingber. “It will also foster unity, understanding and dialogue.”


Ingber cites the worldwide success of Xavier’s Brueggeman Center for Dialogue in the area of interreligious dialogue and Xavier’s Community Building Institute as reasons why he wants to bring this initiative to Xavier.


“The last few years has really brought me to see Xavier as an incredible home for me and an incredible venue to continue to do bridge building here in Cincinnati,” he said.


Ingber’s relationship with Xavier goes back many years. He has meet with several Xavier presidents and is co-executive director of “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” an exhibit sponsored by Xavier which is now touring the world.


In October 2007, Ingber returned to Rome for the First Lay Conference on Catholic-Jewish Relations with a group including Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J. and two Xavier students: Jewish student Michael Loban and Catholic student Maggie Meyer, where all had an audience with the Pope. In fact, Ingber has met several times with the leader of the Catholic Church.


In March 2008, Ingber along with the other co-executives directors of the Blessing exhibit, Xavier’s James Buchanan, Ph.D. and William Madges, Ph.D. (now with St. Joseph’s), were honored with the 2008 Eternal Light Award by the Center for Catholic Jewish Studies in St. Petersburg, FL. The award is presented annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to cause of Catholic-Jewish dialogue.


For more information please contact Rabbi Abie Ingber at 513-745-3780.