Catholics and Jews Find Ways to Partner and Share in Faith

Oct 13, 2010, 09:30 ET from St. Thomas University

MIAMI, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In addition to prayer services, group dialogues and peace finding missions, music has increasingly become a venue for nurturing relationships between Christians and Jews among local communities.



To further the message of building understanding among the two faiths, the Holy See is creating additional opportunities to worship through music. Sixteen members of The American Conference of Cantors (ACC) have been invited to participate in a mission to the Vatican, November 14-18, 2010, in partnership with the Interreligious Information Center. They will meet with Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinals, Vatican officials and seminarians from the North American College in a program that includes tours, dinners and receptions, creating lasting friendships and collaborating relationships.

Cantor Mark C. Goldman, from Kol Ami Emanu-EL Temple in Plantation, Florida, is participating in the mission's concert at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli dei Martiri before the Pope and a large group of dignitaries. He is traveling as a clergy emissary of the Union of Reform Judaism. "This will be a moment to cherish in my life, a night different from all other nights. I will be singing in the Vatican instead of shul," he said.

Descendant of generations of Cantors, Mark Goldman is a native of London, England. He pursued Cantorial studies as well as a B.A. (Honors) degree in Judaic Studies at the London School of Jewish Studies and gained a Master in Music degree in Performance and Literature from Eastman School of Music. He is the youngest ever recipient of certification by the Chief Rabbi of The United Kingdom.

At the Plantation congregation since 1995, he is now responsible for and oversees the Bar and Bat Mitzvah program, the Cultural Arts and Special Events Series, Adult Education, both Adult and Junior choirs, Adult B'not Mitzvah, and all musical programming relating to the congregation. The Cantor has produced and sung in a series of three CD's for the temple encompassing Shabbat, the Festivals, and the High Holidays. He has performed in concerts in the United States, England and Israel and has been a featured artist at numerous regional and national biennials.

Musical liturgy will also be an integral part of Miami's St. Thomas University Ecumenical Institute, housed in the University's School of Theology and Ministry. The Institute pays reverence to participation from interfaith groups and will offer community programs that will enrich attendees, under the vision of May they be one, as we are one. STU now offers a Master of Divinity degree, providing contextual theological education. The Institute welcomes learners into programs of study aimed at preparing men and women for ministerial and pastoral leadership. In terms of ordination standards, women and men will be equipped for leadership in the 21st century, drawing upon a variety of innovative delivery systems and teaching/learning methods.

St. Thomas' Vice President of University Advancement, Marketing and Communications - Beverly S. Bachrach – works closely with Cantor Goldman as she is a board member at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-EL. "I was thrilled to learn that my temple's Cantor will be part of the mission," said Bachrach. "Cantor Goldman will be among those singing for the Pope and utilizing the power of music to bring deeper understanding among the two faiths. We are living in an age where much dialogue is needed and God's unconditional love embraces Catholics and Jews. For eleven years, I have seen STU grow in campus infrastructure and curriculum. It is most rewarding to experience STU's creation of the new Ecumenical Institute, a legacy of understanding and faith exchange among different faiths."

About St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University is the Catholic Archdiocesan-sponsored university in Florida, open to those of all faiths. Student-centered, it is rich in cultural and international diversity, dedicated to developing leaders who contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the regions they serve. With new athletics facilities, an Honors Program, an expanded curriculum that now includes online degrees, United Nations internships and a Study-in-Spain program, the University is home to Biscayne College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; School of Business; School of Law and its Institute of Human Rights; School of Leadership Studies (Communication Arts, Education, Organizational Leadership, Art Management and Healthcare Services); School of Science, Technology and Engineering Management; and the School of Theology and Ministry, which houses The Ecumenical Institute. For general information please visit or contact Chief Marketing Officer Marivi Prado at

SOURCE St. Thomas University