A Dialogue of Life

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A Dialogue of Life

Towards the encounter of Jews and Christians
Page Count
178 pages
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    About the book

    A Dialogue of Life – Towards the encounter of Jews and Christians will motivate Jews and Christians to begin “the way of dialogue.” These pages provide accessible tools for anyone taking part in the encounter between people of different cultures or religions. It offers useful tools for those who work in the areas of education (teachers, professors, and catechists), as well as for families.

    Article: Authors Dive Deep into Challenges of Catholic-Jewish Dialogue

    When you ask someone a question, are you really looking for an answer? Or are you actually trying to make a point under the guise of the inquiry? If Catholics and Jews are ever going to engage in meaningful dialogue with one other, they need to consider this possibility, the authors of a new book told an audience at Fordham Law on Thursday, March 26. Silvina Chemen, rabbi at the Congregation Beth El in Buenos Aires, and Francisco Canzani, PhD, head of the Department of Ecumenism at the Republic of Uruguay Monsignor Mariano Soler spoke about the difficulty of trying to bridge the divides of their respective faiths, noting that they were so dedicated to the pursuit of unity that they wrote the book on the same computer. Although they feel that much of the dialogue between Jews and Catholics, which started with the 1965 Nostra Aetate declaration at Vatican II, has been productive, there is much more to be done.

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    This book was a welcome surprise. I expected another summary of the key developments in Christian-Jewish dialogue, such as are found in statements by various churches. Instead, the book focuses on the dynamics of interreligious dialogue itself, which Silvina Chemen and Francisco Canzani have discovered in their long partnership. The authors largely focus on methodologies of Jewish-Christian dialogue (such as overcoming stereotypes and the relationship between intrareligious and interreligious dialogue) and discuss some of the stumbling blocks (such as concerns about missionizing). The starting point is to build trust. Silvina makes clear that this takes time and “requires perseverance, commitment and some risk.” This message is reinforced in the Afterword. They quote the Argentinian Archbishop of Resistencia, the Most Reverend Ramon Alfredo Dus, who says “Without silence, words lose density and content… We allow the one before us to speak and express himself by being silent instead of clinging to our words and ideas.

    Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky
    Ph.D. Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies Jewish Theological Seminary

    Such a beautiful, intelligent book that is a welcome read and not just for those that are interested in interfaith engagement between Christians and Jews... This book surely is a welcome addition to books on the interfaith and dialogue subject, however the dialogues and discussions taking part between the two authors here are so much deeper than just Jewish/Christian interfaith dialogue, so much more than a guide on how to dialogue with mutual respect and understanding, although they do that also and so well ... The chapter on listening is amazing, and highlights why this book is so much more than just a book on dialogue! There is here a book on spirituality and engagement, on pastoral encounter and on theology too. An articulate and excellent book.

    Melanie Carroll
    Good Book Reviews

    What is unique in Silvina Chemen and Francisco Canzani’s book is that they succeed better than any other book known to me in dealing with the challenges and the opportunities of genuine interreligious dialogue. Both authors are extraordinarily sensitive and wise; they offer ways in which our two communities can work together and learn from one another, and find a common basis for dealing with the ethical and political issues of our day. This book provides great insight and hopefully, it will be used as a basis for study, discussion, and action in our interreligious communities.

    Rabbi Jack Bemporad
    St. Thomas Aquinas University

    Beneath the ideas that are presented here with great competence, we can find a certainty: dialogue is possible today, between Christians and Jews or between anyone… and each of us could add that someone or something with whom it might seem impossible to dialogue with. The experience of the authors, the very origin of this book, allows us to state that it is possible to educate in the art of dialogue without losing our own identity. On the contrary, we will find it again more solid than what it was before.

    Roberto Catalano
    Focolare Movement, Center for Interreligious Dialogue

    A Dialogue of Life is an excellent book, a gentle introduction to dialogue, highlighting practical challenges and acknowledging the time it takes to establish a trusting full relationship. I would recommend it to anyone considering this journey and it’s an accessible read.

    Fredelle Brief

    Dialogue of Life is a compelling read. The voices of Silvina and Francisco are an incarnation. The author takes Jewish Christian dialogue to the next plateau of engagement. To quote the author, "this enables unbiased listening." When pause, be still and deeply listen we discover the common foundation that we share.

    Rev. John Joseph Mastandrea

    About the author

    Silvina received her ordination from the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, having completed her studies in the Majón Schejter of Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Hebrew Language and Bible from the Mijlelet Shazar and she has a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Buenos Aires. She was a teacher at the Jewish school network in various subjects and deputy director of the Amos high school. She has served on communities of Buenos Aires as a Jewish educator, liturgical and rabbinical assistant officiating. She has given courses and lectures in various countries: Uruguay, England, France, Italy, and United States.

    Having a BA in Communication, she participated in the publication of materials for programs of the Ministry of Health, Social Action, UNESCO, UNICEF, as well as she developed numerous educational projects for teens: Discrimination and Human Rights, Culture of Care and Social Resilience to throughout the country. She is co-author of the samples Charts Itinerant: "Young people and their rights" and "From dictatorship to democracy, respect for human rights".

    She is currently a Rabbi in Bet El community together with Rabbi Daniel Goldman, since 2006. She is a member of the Forum for religious diversity of INADI, representing the Jewish faith. She has given lectures and courses in interfaith areas in her country and abroad.

    She assumes the rabbinical vocation from the role of Shlijat Tzibur, an envoy of the community, to convey tradition, language and format that everyone needs. She dedicates time and passion to meet and dialogue with other religions, sharing meaningful experiences of everyday life. She lives community as the most genuine creation of our people for the difficult and wonderful task to stay alive, attentive to the needs of every age and generation, making her Jewish particularity a contribution to civic life for her country. She likes singing and writing, which are two other ways to tell her story and watch the horizon.