Letter of congratulations to Rabbi Roy D. Tanenbaum on the occasion of the inauguration of Canada’s first yeshiva and rabbinical school in Toronto

Monday, November 28 2011

November 18, 2011

Rabbi Roy D. Tanenbaum
Rosh Ha-Yeshiva
Canadian Yeshiva and Rabbinical School
81 St. Mary Street
Toronto, ON  M5S 1J4

Dear Rabbi Tanenbaum:

As Chairman of the Canadian Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue, I am most happy to congratulate you and your colleagues as you mark the inaugural convocation of Canada’s first yeshiva and rabbinical school in Toronto.

This November 27 indeed marks an historic day in the life of Canada’s Jewish community – the establishment of a new Canadian institution of higher learning, destined to train future rabbis, Jewish leaders and others who seek to understand the Jewish faith more deeply. Given our respect for Jewish dedication to learning and study, this moment certainly represents a major Canadian milestone and the culmination of many years of work, planning and fundraising.

What makes this celebration doubly special is that the new yeshiva and rabbinical school is being housed in facilities that have been offered to it by the University of Saint Michael’s College, a Catholic university college at the heart of the University of Toronto. It is a strong and hopeful witness to Catholic and Jewish relations that this Jewish educational institution is being welcomed and hosted by a Catholic university. This unique collaboration testifies powerfully not only to the warm relationship that exists between Catholics and Jews in Toronto, but also to how deeply our two faith communities have come to know and appreciate each other in the decades since the Second World War and the tragedy of the Shoah. This is certainly also evident in the shared conversations and joint forms of collaboration which have brought Canadian Jews and Catholics together over the years nationally, regionally and locally.

Inspired by the examples of recent Popes such as Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Catholics today treasure the heritage common to Jews and Christians, share in dialogues and shared action on many levels, and seek together to pursue that “repairing of the world” (tikkun olam) which is part of the common task entrusted to us by the Creator. As well, it is a moment also to honour and remember those scholars of the past – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim – who contributed the fruit of their scholarship to a common search for wisdom over the centuries.

As the Canadian Yeshiva and Rabbinical School marks its first convocation this month, you can be assured that Canadian Catholics share in your joy and pride, and pray that it will have a fruitful and long-lasting role in the service of the Truth we pursue, each in our own way, to the glory of God.

May the Wisdom of the Most High bless and strengthen this endeavour.

With my prayers and best wishes,

Yours sincerely in the One God,

The Most Reverend Daniel Bohan
Archbishop of Regina
Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

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