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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.

Save the Date

Torah and Mitzvahs in Hell: What Might We Learn from the Astonishing Jewish Religious Activity in Auschwitz?

Monday, March 20, 2023
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Alan Rosen

Alan Rosen, Kraft-Hiatt Scholar in Residence, returns to Holy Cross this spring to engage students in his scholarship of Holocaust literature both in classroom visits and this public lecture. Rosen is a lecturer at Yad Vashem, and has held fellowships at the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in Paris and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is author and editor of a number of books and collections on the Holocaust, including The Holocaust's Jewish Calendars: Keeping Time Sacred, Making Time Holy (Indiana University Press, 2019).

Watch Online

Ido Koch

November 15, 2022
Home in a Distant Land: Archaeology and the Study of Uprooted Communities in Israel—In 722 B.C.E., Assyria conquered the kingdom of Israel, and deported many of the residents of Samaria and its surroundings to other Assyrian provinces, and brought deportees from other conquered territories to Samaria to take their place. Excavations at Tel Hadid, Israel, have unearthed material remains that contribute to our understanding of these transformative years. Ido 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.