Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate

Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University and Silicon Valley Interreligious Council Sign Interfaith Statement Celebrating Anniversary of Nostra Aetate

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015

LOS GATOS, Calif., Oct. 28, 2015 — Fifty years ago on Oct. 28, Pope Paul VI issued a proclamation Nostra Aetate (In Our Time) at the Second Vatican Council, opening up the relationship of Catholics to non-Christian religions. The document called for mutual understanding, respect, and fraternal dialogue across religious traditions. In particular, Nostra Aetate radically reshaped relations with the Jewish world, condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and stating that Jews cannot be held responsible for the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ.  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel played an influential role in the drawing up of Nostra Aetate, drafting the third official memorandum that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) submitted to the Vatican on the relationship between Christianity and the Jews.

To mark the anniversary, Jyl Jurman of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley has signed a statement with four other faith leaders - San Jose Catholic Bishop Patrick McGrath, Rabbi James Greene of the Cantorial and Rabbinic Association of Greater San Jose; Rev. D. Andrew Kille of Silicon Valley Interreligious Council; and Santa Clara University President Michael E. Engh, S.J. 

This joint statement celebrates the milestone anniversary, and reaffirms the groups' commitment to working together to support interfaith dialogue and action, particularly around pressing issues of environmental justice and climate change today.

The statement is below:

October 28, 2015

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, Santa Clara University, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, the Cantorial and Rabbinic Association of Greater San Jose, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, and the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley join together in celebrating this milestone for interfaith relationships, and commit to continued partnership and dialogue as friends and colleagues.  Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and those of non-Christian religions, calls for mutual understanding, respect, and fraternal dialogue across religious traditions.  Over the last few years we have hosted many joint programs and initiatives to celebrate and deepen our common understanding and mutual responsibility.  We are marking this anniversary by joining Pope Francis’ call for a moral response to climate change and urging our communities to work together to care for our common home.


Reverend Michael E. Engh, S.J.
President, Santa Clara University

Most Reverend Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop, Diocese of San Jose

Rabbi James Greene 
Chair, Cantorial and Rabbinic Association of Greater San Jose

Reverend D. Andrew Kille
Chair, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council

Jyl Jurman
CEO, Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley


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