Today, the world lost one of the premiere leaders in Jewish-Christian relations, Rabbi Dr. Gerald Meister. In the beginning of the month, Rabbi Meister spoke to both the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation/World Jewish Congress/Latin American Jewish Congress Latin American Clergy Israel Mission as well as CJCUC’s Yale University Student Mission comprised of Orthodox Jews and Christians to learn the fundamentals of Jewish-Christian relations.
The day after arriving back to the United States from Israel, Rabbi Meister was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. “The diagnoses completely surprised us,” Jonathan Meister said. He added, “at least we were able to bring him home for his last Shabbat on earth and he passed away with family sitting by his side.”
Upon receiving the phone call this morning that his spiritual father passed away, CJCUC’s Executive Director David Nekrutman remarked “words cannot express the personal loss I feel at this time. At least, I had the honor of being with him during his last visit to Israel in continuing the sacred calling of Jewish-Christian relations.”
Always describing himself as a theologian, Rabbi Meister served as an Adviser for Israel-Christian Affairs for both CJCUC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel. He was a renowned lecturer in Comparative Jewish-Christian theology at several Roman Catholic seminaries and universities on the East and West Coast. For many years Rabbi Meister directed the Inter-Religious Department of the World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency for Israel and undertook many diplomatic assignments in the course of his work. He also participated in the process of Israel’s establishing diplomatic relations with Spain and the Vatican.
“His insights into Jewish-Christian relations were invaluable,” CJCUC’s Founder Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin remarked. “He will be sorely missed and CJCUC will continue his legacy by creating cutting edge theological works that will help both faith communities to better understand each other.”
The funeral for Rabbi Meister will take place on Thursday, March 28th due to the Passover holiday. Anyone wishing to extend their wishes can email them to [email protected].