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Precedent in Vatican-israeli Academic Relations: Vatican University Invites a Tau Professor to Help

Prof. Daniel Carpi, who has just completed three years as head of Tel Aviv University’s Chaim Rosenberg School for Jewish Studies, has been invited by the Vatican’s Gregoriana University to help set up a center for Jewish studies there, TAU has announced.

It said that in view of the fact that the Vatican has no diplomatic ties with Israel, the invitation sets a new precedent in academic relations with the Holy See.

The Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, a major institution of higher learning run by the Vatican, has an important institute for the study of the Bible, and is in the process of updating its curriculum to include modern Jewish history, according to Carpi.

The new center, to be named the Interfaculty Center of Judaic Studies, will focus on the period beginning with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, up to the start of the Zionist movement.

Carpi will spend the fall semester at Gregoriana, and will give a course on the Jewish communities of Western Europe and the Mediterranean during the same period.

The dean of Gregoriana’s Faculty of Theology, Prof. Arye Crollius, visited Tel Aviv University earlier this year, at which time proposals and plans for cooperation, joint research and the exchange of professors and students were discussed.

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