Assumption University, Windsor Jewish Federation and Community Centre Launch New Course
Assumption University, Windsor Jewish Federation and Community Centre Launch New Course

Representatives from the Jewish and Catholic communities were on hand at the event.

Windsor’s Assumption University and the Windsor Jewish Federation and Community Centre launched a new course titled, “Jerusalem and Rome: Jewish-Catholic Relations” during an event at the Windsor JCC on May 2.  

The course marks a new chapter in Jewish-Catholic dialogue, teaching an appreciation for both religious traditions with hopes to inspire additional Jewish-Catholic communities in Canada and the United States.  

Dan Brotman, executive director of the WJCC, and Dr. John Cappucci, the Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Religion and Conflict at Assumption University, signed a joint statement during the event and gave each other tokens of appreciation to symbolize their continued friendship.  

Jewish and Catholic prayers at the event were led by the WJCC’s Rabbi Mike Nasielski and Assumption University’s Fr. Paul McGill, CSB, Superior of the Basilian Fellows. Members of the Windsor and broader Jewish and Catholic communities were also present.  

The course provides a portrait of Jewish-Catholic relations by exploring both the historical interactions and the contemporary developments between the two religions and the place they hold in the larger community. The course will also explore the similarities and differences in the lived expressions of Judaism and Catholicism.  

The course aims to provide the space for students to explore approaches and strategies to help cultivate understanding, dialogue and cooperation between Jewish and Catholic communities.  

It will be an accelerated six-week course on Zoom from May 10 to June 24 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.  

The course is available for credit or audit. Special transfer agreements have been made for many universities in Canada along with the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. 

For Nasielski, the course is particularly unique in that it’s presenting Jewish-Catholic relations primarily through a Catholic university but with much input from Jewish sources and guest speakers, including himself.   

“It takes that mission of helping Catholics and other non-Jewish people understand Judaism but makes a strong point of presenting it from a Jewish lens,” Nasielski said. “It makes sure the Jewish perspective is expressed by actual, living Jewish people and it’s not just ‘about the Jews.’” 

For Cappucci, the course is a historic moment and major step forward in Jewish-Catholic relations.  

“You have a Catholic University and Jewish federation working together on an item of mutual interest and mutual education benefit for the community, I’m very excited by it,” Cappucci said. “I hope (the students) will be inspired to see Jews and Catholics are not as different as everyone starts to think they are, that their similarities outweigh their differences. I’m really hoping the next generation of students will start to think in those terms rather than seeing an us-vs.-them dichotomy.” 

To learn more and/or register, visit

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