Visitors to this site may have been looking for adult education materials that parishes could use to raise consciousness about their Jewish neighbors and their faith. Too many Christians assume that what they read in the Old Testament represents the faith and practice of Jews of today. In fact, one rabbi in San Francisco reported that some visitors to his synagogue ask in all innocence where they slaughter the animals! But ignorance goes both ways, and Christians and Jews alike affirm that their own faith has been strengthened and their respect for the others' faith has increased, when they jointly study their respective religions.
The following educational resource is taken from the web site:
Walking God's Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation is a six-session process to stimulate candid conversation between Jewish and Christian congregations. Produced by the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College on behalf of and with the oversight of the National Council of Synagogues and the Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, it is now made available online through special arrangement with the Council of Centers on Jewish Christian Relations.
The series consists of 15-minute discussion-starting videotapes and a detailed online User's Guide containing dialogue questions and resources. Participants will experience each tradition's understanding of how it walks God's path and how the two faith communities could relate to one another in positive ways. Although it focuses on relations between Jews and Catholics, the Users Guide shows how to adapt for use in other Christian communities.
At this point I am not aware of any other on-line courses that raise awareness about anti-Jewish elements in the liturgy.
If any visitor to this site knows of one please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether in her book Faith and Fratricide: the Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism (1995) suggests specific points that such a course should cover.
- Jewish commentary and interpretation of Hebrew scripture.
- Rabbinic context of the thought of Jesus and Paul.
- Correction of stereotypes of the Pharisees and the Torah.
- Ways of overcoming the anti-Judaic implications of Christian scriptures for preaching.
- The history of the legal and social persecution of Jews by ecclesiastical and political leaders.
- The anti-Judaic side of the church’s redemptive language.
- Contact with rabbinic leadership.
- Preaching and Christian education courses overcome anti-Judaic language in all materials.
- A history of Jewish thought and society.
Professor Levine in The Misunderstood Jew also makes suggestions that could give structure to a course on Jewish Christian relations:
- Jewish sources and Christian sources both contain ugly, misogynistic, intolerant, and hateful material. People of faith need to be able to acknowledge the bad as well as the good.
- Avoid selective use of rabbinic sources, especially if they are used as a negative foil for something in the New Testament.
- Avoid creating a picture of a Jesus divorced from his own people; he is speaking to Jews from within Judaism.
- Avoid associating Judaism with the Old Testament. To understand Judaism today one must know not only the biblical material, but also the history of its interpretation.
- Recognize that the Gospels are a product of religious competition; they are not objective reports.
- Be aware that Jews and Christians are not using words in the same way, eg., Bible, Messiah.
- Watch out for the false juxtaposition of the “Old Testament God of wrath” and the “New Testament God of love.”
- Learn to listen with the ears of our neighbors.
- Be aware that anti-Judaism appears in the hymnal and the lectionary.
- Address why Jesus died in an historically accurate way.