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Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding

Holy Cross is committed to deepening understanding of Judaism, Jewish life around the world, and Jewish-Christian relations. Funded by the College and by the Kraft-Hiatt family, the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding sponsors a number of opportunities that continue to have profound impact on individual student and faculty participants and the campus community at large. The initiative includes lecture series, visiting scholars, and support for faculty and students to study abroad.

Lecture Series

Each semester, the McFarland Center presents Kraft-Hiatt lectures, performances and other events on the Holocaust, Jewish history and contemporary Jewish faith and life. Recent guest speakers have included David Kertzer, Yaakov Katz, Rabbi Abie Ingber, Ervin Staub, Marion Kaplan, Alan Rosen, Yehuda Bauer, Nir Eisikovits and Aaron Levine.  In collaboration with the Worcester JCC, the Center has hosted talks by Paula Fredriksen and James Carroll. Audio and/or video recordings of many past lectures are available.

Upcoming Event

The Survivors Among Us: Today and Tomorrow
March 18, 2024

Alan Rosen

There is considerable discussion about what to do now that we are on the verge of having Holocaust survivors disappear from our midst. To Alan Rosen, Kraft-Hiatt Scholar in Residence, this preoccupation with the so-called disappearance of survivors is misguided. This talk examines what might lie behind this questionable focus on the survivors’ disappearance and sets out a different way to think about the survivors among us, highlighting the lessons we continue to glean from knowing them personally as well as learning about their remarkable lives.


Watch Online

Alan Rosen

March 20, 2023
Torah and Mitzvahs in Hell: What Might We Learn from the Astonishing Jewish Religious Activity in Auschwitz?Alan Rosen, Kraft-Hiatt Scholar in Residence, shares stories from Holocaust survivors who found ways to pray, do mitzvahs, keep calendars and observe Judaism while prisoners in Auschwitz.


Ido Koch

November 15, 2022
Home in a Distant Land: Archaeology and the Study of Uprooted Communities in IsraelIdo Koch, senior lecturer in archaeology at Tel Aviv University and co-director of the Tel Hadid Expedition, describes a community of deportees from Babylonia (southern Iraq), focusing on their experience of being deported, how they rebuilt their life in a new place, and how archaeologists can find them.

Rabbi Abraham Skorka with his arm around his friend Pope Francis, both smiling.
April 11, 2022
The Pope’s Rabbi on Meaningful Interfaith DialogueArgentinian-born Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a longtime friend of Pope Francis, focuses on deepening Catholic-Jewish relationships—not to convince the other of their personal beliefs, but to open up a dialogue between their faiths to help address global issues and problems affecting members of both religions. With Francis, he co-authored “On Heaven and Earth” in 2010.