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Posted on Nov 15, 2012 |

Seven Weeks Remain to See JPII Exhibit

Seven Weeks Remain to See JPII Exhibit

This iconic photo of Pope John Paul II and Rabbi Elio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome, is one of many artifacts in the multi-media exhibit. In 1986, The pontiff was the first pope to join Jews in a synagogue since the first century.

Returning to Cincinnati for its final US stop, the groundbreaking exhibit A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People is on display at the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of  Religion in Clifton (OH) through Dec. 31.

Developed in 2005 by representatives from Xavier Univeristy, Hillel of Cincinnati and The Shtetl Foundation, the exhibit was the first to explore the connections between Bl. Pope John Paul II and the Jewish people. It has been touring ever since.

“Of course, we never expected the exhibit would still be touring,” says Rabbi Abie Ingber of Xavier University, one of the exhibit’s co-creators. “We thought it would go to Washington and New York and maybe one other city and then come home.

“The strength of the story, the impact of its message has resonated with Catholics, Jews, and people of faith all over the country. When the Holy Father approved our commitment to tell the story of his lifelong friendship with Jerzy Kluger and how the relationship between those two boys has changed the world, we should have known there would be a miracle attached to this blessing. There has been.”

The 2000-sq.-ft., multi-media exhibit has traveled to 18 venues and has been seen by more than 800,000 people.  Next year it will be the inaugural exhibit at the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. It will then travel through Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy and France.

Through photographs, videos, and documents, the exhibit explores the childhood friendship between Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) and Jerzy Kluger, and how it developed throughout the Holocaust, World War II, and their subsequent lives. It is a powerful testament to how friendship and respect can overcome not only horrific political and social events, but centuries of religious strife.

The exhibit is being sponsored by the CHHE, the JCRC, the Jewish Federation, Xavier University, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and The Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of  Religion.

For hours and information, call (513) 745-3922 or (513) 487-3200, or see www.blessingexhibit.org.

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  1. XU Interfaith Office Now a Center | The Catholic Beat - [...] Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People (now on display at Hebrew Union’s Skirball Museum; see our coverage …