Rabbi Abie Ingber, executive director of the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement, is in New York this week to meet with Rabbi Avraham Skorka, the Buenos Aires colleague and friend of Pope Francis.
Ingber is attending a lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 29, hosted by the New York Board of Rabbis for Skorka. Ingber was invited to join the lunch because of his work to improve relations between Catholics and Jews. The selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina to be the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church is expected to continue the positive Catholic-Jewish relations begun under Pope John Paul II.
Skorka co-authored a book with the new pope in 2010, On Heaven and Earth, which Ingber recently reviewed for St. Anthony Messenger, America’s best-selling Catholic magazine. Ingber also was a co-creator of "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People," an historical exhibit that opened at Xavier in 2005.
Ingber’s interviews with Jerzy Kluger, the close childhood Jewish friend of Pope John Paul II, were the research backbone of the award-winning exhibit celebrating the pope’s lifelong relationship with the Jewish people. Ingber will present Rabbi Skorka with a made-for-television video about the creation of the exhibit and video highlights from his interviews with Kluger.
“I am honored to be included in this gathering in New York,” Ingber said.
“This pope is the first one in 75 years with no direct experience of the events of World War II. Yet we are so very privileged to have Pope Francis’ unique approach to life and history and his celebration of his friendship with Rabbi Skorka. I am doubly privileged to serve as a Rabbi at Xavier, our Jesuit Catholic University in Cincinnati. Xavier has been an incredible initiator in building meaningful bridges between different faith communities.”