A group of people are sitting around a table with a torah.

This New Year – Confronting Antisemitism Together – at Providence College

The inaugural Fay Rozovsky Lecture in Jewish-Catholic Dialogue will be held on Thursday, November 17th at 6pm at Providence College. The dialogue is sponsored by the Jewish-Catholic Theological Exchange at Providence College and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

The program announcement comes as Rhode Islanders and people the world over begin the recognition of Rosh Hashanah. With Yom Kippur, the highest holy “day of atonement” set for next week.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of Judaism’s holiest days. Meaning “head of the year” or “first of the year,” the festival begins on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, which falls during September or October. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.

Quietly over the last few years, an innovative program has promoted dialogue between Catholics, Jews, and the community in Rhode Island. Providence College and the Jewish Alliance have offered a series of intellectual discussions and dialogues with nationally recognized theologians and lecturers.

The innovative program is led by Dr. Arthur Urbano, Professor of Theology and Chair of the JCTE​. Urbano, who received his Ph.D. from Brown University has expertise in Early Christianity, Patristics, Late Antiquity, Early Christian Biography, Art and Archaeology, and Jewish-Christian relations.

Urbano is Co-founder and co-director with Rabbi Wayne Franklin, of the Rhode Island Catholic-Jewish Dialogue Group, begun in 2016 to the present. He has served on the Planning Committee, Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Service at Temple Emanu-El in Providence, and on the Board of Directors, Holocaust Education and Resource Center of Rhode Island.

Urbano has been a Music Minister at Holy Apostles Church in Cranston from 2001-present. He has been involved in collaborations with Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El since 2008. He has also served as Music Minister, at St. Bartholomew Church in Providence.

This year’s event, a panel discussion, deals with antisemitism:

Confronting Antisemitism Together: An Interfaith Discussion

Rabbi Ron Fish

Northeast Division Director, Antisemitism Advocacy & Education, Anti-Defamation League

Stephanie Hague

Chief Policy Officer, Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island

Rev. John Pawlikowski, OSM

Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics and Former Director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union

This will be a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual attendance possible.  More details to follow.

The inaugural Fay Rozovsky Lecture in Jewish-Catholic Relations, is made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Fay Rozovsky. Fay Rozovsky ’73, ’08Hon. was among the first women to attend Providence College and served as vice president and president of PC’s National Alumni Association from 2009-2012. She was an expert in public health and medical ethics. She and her late husband Lorne were supporters of the Jewish-Catholic Theological Exchange initiative from the beginning.

Jewish-Catholic Theological Exchange (JCTE) at Providence College

​Since its founding in 1917, Providence College has actively promoted Catholic and Jewish engagement. Building on this history, the Jewish-Catholic Theological Exchange (JCTE) commi​ttee w​as establ​ished by the Theology Department in 2007 and has ​continued to extend opportunities for Jews and Christians to pursue “mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies, as​ well as of fraternal dialogues” (Nostra Aetate 4). Reflecting on the common spiritual heritage as well as the unique identities of Jews and Christians, our mission is to foster interreligious learning, understanding, and friendship. The JCTE hosts major lectur​es, colloquia, and other initiatives on the Provide​nce College campus. These events provide a welcoming forum where members of the college join the broader Rhode Island community, to engage with local relig​ious leaders and nationally recognized experts to discuss themes of mutual theological interest. In continuity with Providence College’s long-standing tradition, the JCTE promotes interreligious understanding and dialogue in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate).



Email: [email protected] 

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