28/04/2014 7:30pm
CCJ Oxford and Oxford Jewish Congregation join together in this solemn remembrance of the Holocaust. Testimony, music and Hebrew prayers are woven together in this moving ceremony. Post event refreshments.
30/04/2014 8:00pm
Jacob Vince of Christian Friends of Israel will give an overview of varying views and the information they draw upon. This will also be CCJ Staines AGM.
07/05/2014 2:30pm
Speaker: Robert Feather. A talk about the spear that pierced the side of Jesus.
08/05/2014 8:00pm
Guest speaker Barry Hyman, President of Radlett & Bushey Reform Synagogue. Subject - Ethics in Business and Religion.

Pope Francis will canonise Pope John XXIII

CCJ is looking forward to 27 April, when Pope Francis will canonise his predecessor, Pope John XXIII, declaring him to be a saint. As papal nuncio in the Second World War, he acted to save the lives of many Jews, throughout Eastern Europe and Istanbul. He has been proposed as worthy of Yad Vashem’s title ‘Righteous among the Gentiles’. As pope, he removed the Good Friday prayer for ‘perfidious  Jews’ and prayed for forgiveness for Christians who had mistreated Jews as cursed. He also called the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which in turn (after his death) issued a document called Nostra Aetate, meaning ‘In Our Time’. This was about interfaith relations generally, but had a special focus on Christian-Jewish relations. It made it clear that responsibility for the death of Jesus could not be laid at the door of all Jews, not even all Jews in Jerusalem in his day, and spoke of a covenant which still belongs (present tense) to the Jews.

The Second Vatican Council is viewed by Catholics as an ‘Ecumenical Council’, which is the highest authority in the Catholic Church. Its stance has been endorsed by all future popes and in many documents, and its influence has spread into many other Christian denominations. When he once greeted a Jewish delegation to the Vatican warmly with ‘I am Joseph, your brother’, it was – and is – clear that he meant it.
Can Christians learn from the highly regulated patterns of grieving practised by observant Jews? How does a Jewish funeral proper compare and contrast with a Christian one?
Does this put Christians in touch with their ‘Jewish roots’, or involve something of a ‘colonial takeover’ of a Jewish practice which in at least some respects is probably centuries later than Jesus? Patrick led a candid discussion.
Exploring and reflecting on the Jewish experience of the second world war and its legacy, was the focus of an inspiring visit to Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre.
I had the great privilege of sharing with our Jewish friends of the Council of Christians and Jews an evening at St. Paul's Cathedral.