Melbourne News

Where Judaism and Catholicism meet

Communications Office, Thursday 31 October 2013

THE Jewish Museum of Australia will launch a ground breaking new program, ‘The Jewish Context of the Life and Words of Jesus,’ on Thursday 14 November.
The program, which has undergone a year-long development process, has been designed to link directly to a unit of the same name taught at Year 8 level in Catholic schools across Victoria as part of the religious education curriculum.
The ancient faiths of Judaism and Christianity are deeply intertwined. The commonalities between the two religions can be illuminated by the life of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, and a charismatic Jewish teacher and healer whose followers eventually broke away from Judaism and henceforth became known as Christian.
A key element of this program is a visit to the Jewish Museum of Australia where students will be exposed to 21st century Judaism and taught how to identify the 1st century practices that formed an integral part of Jesus’ life. The Jewish Museum of Australia is set to become a primary resource for teaching this unit, providing Catholic educators with a practical and new educational product for the classroom and beyond.
“This program is an important development for the Jewish Museum of Australia and is, as far as we know, unique in providing a resource for Catholic educators from a Jewish perspective,” Museum Director and CEO Rebecca Forgasz said.
The program has been enthusiastically received by the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
David Schütz, Executive Officer of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission said, “In recent decades, the 1st Century Jewish context of the life of Jesus has been at the forefront of scholarly Christian New Testament studies. The Jewish Museum of Australia is to be commended for this initiative, which seeks to educate Christian school students about Judaism through this ancient connection with the Christian gospels.”

Photos coutesy of the Jewish Museum of Australia.