Address by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder to the WJC Executive Committee meeting, Rome 2022
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis Tuesday welcomed the World Jewish Congress’ launch of an historic initiative known as “Kishreinu” (Hebrew for “Our Bond”), intended to strengthen Jewish-Catholic ties around the globe, explaining that “in light of the religious heritage that we share, let us regard the present as a challenge that unites us, as an incentive to act together.”
“Our two communities of faith are entrusted with the task of working to make the world more fraternal, combating forms of inequality and promoting greater justice, so that peace will not remain an otherworldly promise, but become a present reality in our world,” he added.
The Jewish communal leaders from more than 50 countries, who were received by the pontiff on Tuesday in Apostolic Palace, were gathered for a World Jewish Congress Executive Committee meeting – the first ever formal event held by a Jewish organization at the Vatican since the founding of the Catholic Church. Kosher food was served.
The Kishreinu initiative, when finalized, will serve as the Jewish community’s response to the Nostra Aetate Declaration of the Second Vatican Council, which in 1965 modernized the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish people.
WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, in his earlier address in the Vatican’s Synod Hall, said, “Those of us here today are eager to promote our bond with the Catholic Church. Today, we launch the process of ‘Kishreinu,’ [which] reinforces the common future of our two people. It presents a new stage in the Catholic-Jewish bond.”
Amb. Lauder also expressed gratitude to the Catholic Church during a time of increased Jew-hatred worldwide. “We don’t ignore it. We don’t forget. But we look forward, together. And what could possibly be better for all the children of God to live together in peace, harmony and in the house of the lord, forever,” he said.