Today and Tomorrow, Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat is sponsoring an interfaith theological conference and exploring the subjects of, “Covenant, Mission and Conversion” at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem.
While it's being billed as a "first" international conference which introduces "groundbreaking material" and "new research", Rabbi Riskin previously sponsored an identical conference at Yale last year, in conjunction with the Yale Divinity school and the Witherspoon Institute at Princeton. Both conferences promote the idea of exploring "New Frontiers in Christian-Jewish Theology". The same academics are participating and their papers are being reused.
Jewish Israel already reported about this material at the time of the Yale conference last October. Our report included academic reaction to the conference and is certainly worth reviewing at this time. We regularly report on Rabbi Riskin's penchant for treading on shaky theological ground and his repeated trampling of Rav Soloveitchik's psak proscribing interfaith theological dialogue. Our report, Fallen apple breaks interfaith fence, is also available in Hebrew.
Both Rabbi Riskin and Rabbi Eugene Korn are desperately seeking a covenantal union, "a new covenantal relation", with Christianity. Korn's academic paper poses, the following the questions:
The Institute for Theological Inquiry (ITI) is directed by Rabbi Korn. It is an ongoing theological enterprise that is a division of CJCUC in Efrat. Its American partner is the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. The Institute's objective is to engage world-class theologians in an effort to break new theological ground through focused research projects in areas critical to Judaism, Christianity, social values, and world culture. Witherspoon is a highly conservative think tank with a number of Catholic affiliates. It's widely reported that the president of Witherspoon is a lead cleric of Opus Dei at Princeton.
While the Torah observant public is familiar with Rabbi Riskin's theological endeavors with evangelical entities, it should be noted that he and CJCUC's executive director David Nekrutman dedicate enormous energies to nurturing relations with the Vatican. Last month at this time, Rabbi Riskin met with Pope Benedict XVI and briefed him on the work of CJCUC.
Representatives from Jewish Israel will be at the Van Leer conference, which is being broadcast live from the Van Leer website. We will keep our readership informed of developments.