A Timeline: Friends in Deed

1955 — American Jewish Committee (AJC), in conjunction with Loyola University president, the Rev. Charles S. Casassa, S.J., starts Summer Human Relations Workshop.

1965 — Nostra Aetate becomes policy of Roman Catholic Church, opening the door to better relations between Catholics and Jews.

First year of Dialogues Unlimited is established by Casassa and Dr. Neil Sandberg to discuss interreligious issues. Thousands participate over five-year period.

1970 — Founding of Interreligious Council of Southern California

1972 — Summer Human Relations Workshop becomes the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations Training, named for attorney Martin Gang, who helped finance the program, and sponsored by Loyola University in partnership with the AJC.

1973 — Creation of Priest-Rabbi Committee sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

1975 — Catholic-Jewish Respect Life Committee is created by the AJC, Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Board of Rabbis of Southern California. Statements are published on, among other topics, “Abortion and Related Issues” and “The Nuclear Reality.”

1977 — First Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference, with about 50 Jewish women and 50 Roman Catholic nuns, meets for full day at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu.

The Priest-Rabbi Committee issues “Lenten Pastoral Reflections,” which states, in part, “We cannot make the mistake of blaming the whole Jewish people (of 33 C.E. or of today) for Jesus’ death.”

1978 — Catholic lay women join the Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference, which holds annual conference every Nov. 11.

1982 — Project Discovery started by Monsignor Royale Vadakin and Rabbi Alfred Wolf, who hosted Passover seders at Wilshire Boulevard Temple for Catholic students.

1983 — Vadakin and Wolf begin Jewish Intern Program, sending Jewish graduate students into Catholic high schools.

1989 — Vadakin and Wolf publish “A Journey of Discovery: A Resource Manual for Catholic-Jewish Dialogue.”

1992 — AJC’s Catholic/Jewish Educational Enrichment Program begins sending Rabbi Michael Perelmuter to Catholic high schools and Catholic educator Dr. Michael Kerze to Milken Community High School.

2000 — Pope John Paul II visits Western Wall in Israel and inserts note asking forgiveness

Approximately 300 rabbis sign Dabru Emet (speak the truth), which asserts, “We believe it is time for Jews to learn about the efforts of Christians to honor Judaism.”

2003 — Holy Land Democracy Project is created by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Jewish Community Foundation. Provides Catholic educators with training about and a trip to Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Bearing Witness Institute, presented in cooperation with archdiocese, gives Catholic school educators tools to teach about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and bigotry.

2005 — Pope Benedict XVI, on his first trip outside Rome as pope in August, speaks at a synagogue in Cologne, Germany.

Los Angeles Catholic and Jewish leaders host 40th anniversary celebration of Nostra Aetate at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sept. 22.