Leon Klenicki

Rewrite Not In The Works

05/14/1999
Staff Writer
Efforts to eliminate anti-Semitic language and themes from the world's most famous Passion Play in time for its millennium production are not going smoothly. So says an unhappy Rabbi Leon Klenicki, director of interfaith affairs for the Anti-Defamation League, who returned to New York last week from unsuccessful meetings in the German village of Oberammergau trying to persuade the producers to make changes in the production, which will run May 22-Sept. 29, 2000.

Dealing With Dialogue Crisis

03/26/1999
Staff Writer
What will be the future of Catholic-Jewish dialogue if the international Jewish interfaith coalition known as IJCIC is officially disbanded? That's the question facing Jewish interfaith leaders this week, following the surprising announcement by the Vatican's top Jewish liaison, Edward Cardinal Cassidy, that he considered the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultation "no longer in existence " as a dialogue partner for the Vatican.

Status Woe

05/09/2003
Staff Writer
Are the growing numbers of women rabbis and ministers devaluing the power of the clergy? That was among the issues raised at a thought-provoking two-day conference recently on women and religion sponsored by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. The conference at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York , titled "Women Through the Prism of Religion," featured some of the top women theologians and religious activists from Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Interfaith Leader Klenicki Dies

01/30/2009
Staff Writer
Rabbi Leon Klenicki, one of the Jewish community’s leading voices for rapprochement with the Catholic Church, died Jan. 25. A resident of Monroe Township, N.J., he was 78. Rabbi Klenicki, a native of Argentina, served as the Anti-Defamation League’s director of Interfaith Affairs until his retirement eight years ago, and as the ADL’s co-liaison with the Vatican, meeting frequently with Church leaders in Rome, the United States and other countries.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

09/15/2000
Staff Writer
Two landmark theological documents were issued last week, one by leading Jewish thinkers and one by the Roman Catholic theologian. Besides timing, they couldn't be more different. The Jewish statement calls for Jews to re-evaluate their historic negative feelings about Christianity and affirm the shared roots of the two faiths. The Vatican statement declares the Roman Catholic Church is the only way to salvation, rejecting alternate paths. It advocates missionizing of non-Catholics. For Jewish interfaith leaders, it's all very troubling.

Scholars Pan Passion Play

05/05/2000
Staff Writer
With the curtain about to rise on the world's most famous Passion Play, a team of Christian and Jewish scholars is giving it a thumbs down. It's not the acting or pacing the reviewers are concerned about. Rather it's the script for the latest production of the 366-year-old Oberammergau Passion Play, produced and performed by residents of the little Bavarian town. More specifically the reviewers, brought together by the American Jewish Committee's Department of Interreligious Affairs, panned the English translation of the German text because of its anti-Jewish content.

Manners And Morals

01/15/1999
Staff Writer
The new year is bringing with it a slew of new interfaith news and events. Perhaps the most critical issue involves the nasty political environment in Washington, D.C., and the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton. A coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders are strongly criticizing what they say is the deplorable lack of political civility in the nation's capitol and on television and radio talks shows.

New, Old Faces In Dialogue

03/16/2001
Staff Writer
There are two major personnel changes in the world of Jewish-Christian dialogue, even as meetings between representatives of the two religions continue. On the Catholic side, Pope John Paul II has appointed German Cardinal Walter Kasper to head the Vatican’s Commission on Relations with the Jews – the Roman Catholic Church’s primary representative on Jewish issues.

ADL Quits Dialogue Group

10/08/1999
Staff Writer
A new dustup has hit IJCIC, the Jewish coalition group that claims to represent the world Jewish community to the Vatican. One key member, the Anti-Defamation League, has quit, even as the umbrella group officially known as the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations tries to resurrect itself in the face of sharp criticism and years of ineffectiveness. ADL interfaith director Rabbi Leon Klenicki said the IJCIC is no longer relevant. Last March, the group was declared dead by the Vatican’s chief interfaith official.

Jewish Saint Causes Stir

10/16/1998
Staff Writer
Catholics will now be able pray to a Jewish-born nun for divine intervention. That’s because on Sunday, Pope John Paul II made Edith Stein, a German-born Jewish convert to Catholicism, into an official saint of the Catholic Church. It is the first time in history that the Vatican has elevated a Jewish convert to sainthood, said Rabbi Leon Klenicki, interfaith affairs director of the Anti-Defamation League. But the canonization of Stein, who died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, has re-opened wounds in the Catholic-Jewish relationship.
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