Jews and the Vatican: What Prayers to Pray?

Inbal Freund-Novick is an organizational consultant and co-founder of The Unmasked Comics Project, a social change comics venture with comics artist Chari Pere. After spending a year as a visiting fellow at JPPPI (The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute), she currently serves in the World Jewish Diplomatic Corps of the World Jewish Congress.

inbal freund-novickFreund-Novick is a participant in Discovering Common Values: The Catholic-Jewish Leadership Conference, hosted by the Vatican and held at the Pope’s summer palace of Castel Gandolfo. She’ll be blogging about it all week, only at MJL.

Tonight we had our introductions. First, in the main hall, we met the Jewish and Christian participants who came from many countries around the globe to the conference. Then the Jewish delegates had an internal discussion about how we would conduct prayer throughout this week. Most of the Jewish delegates held leadership roles of some sort, either as students or ordained rabbis of various denominations–which led to the question of what opening prayer the 28 of us should recite. We received two advance emails from the Jewish organizers, urging everybody to state in advance how they would like to pray — which were mostly ignored, leaving the hot potato to the conference evening itself.

Most of the people are very tired from flying out here from all over, but as our newly acquainted Christian counterparts departed for their Sunday evening mass, almost everybody–the ones who weren’t Skyping their homes, at least — discussed what form of prayer we should hold as a group of Jewish people. What would this week of joint prayer look like.

It started by saying we have a time limit. The discussion wad limited to half an hour, closing at 22:00. By 21:55, the discussion was heated we were announced by the initiator of discussion, Ari Gordon of the AJC (who earlier read the formal voice of the impressive call to the group by Richard Marker the replacement for Rabbi David Rosen who encouraged us to be ourselves and not just follow old footsteps) that we had 5 minutes left, meaning 15 in Jewish time.

Posted on June 22, 2009

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