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AJC celebrates Pope Francis visit and Nostra Aetate with interfaith concert

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NEW YORK, NY – An interfaith concert celebrating the historic first visit of Pope Francis to the US and the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate will take place on September 17, 7:30 PM, at the Church of

NEW YORK, NY – An interfaith concert celebrating the historic first visit of Pope Francis to the US and the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate will take place on September 17, 7:30 PM, at the Church of St. Jean Baptiste, Lexington Avenue at 76th Street, New York.

“The positive transformation of Catholic-Jewish relations will be evident in the visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. and the upcoming official celebration of the golden anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Catholic proclamation initiating a new era in Christian-Jewish relations,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. An AJC leadership delegation met with Pope Francis in the Vatican in February 2014. AJC is marking the Nostra Aetate fiftieth anniversary with regional, national, and international programs and publications.

The concert, an amalgam of major Jewish and Catholic music, will be performed by the Clarion Orchestra and Clarion Choir. The concert is co-sponsored by AJC (American Jewish Committee), the global Jewish advocacy organization that has been a pioneer in advancing Catholic-Jewish relations over many decades. AJC has partnered with Clarion, Church of St. Jean Baptiste, and Ayesha Bulchandani-Mathrani and Sandeep Mathrani, the latter as lead supporters of the concert. Ayesha Bulchandani-Mathrani serves as honorary chair of AJC Celebrates Nostra Aetate’s 50th.

The evening will express themes of restoration and peace with two inspirational liturgical works by the Jewish-Italian composer Salamone Rossi, Elohim Hashiveinu (Psalm 80) and Kaddish; In The Beginning, Aaron Copland’s virtuosic depiction of the creation of the world, and Mozart’s masterful ‘Grand’ Mass in C Minor, a particular favorite of Pope Francis.

Nostra Aetate, the landmark Vatican document that positively transformed Catholic-Jewish relations, emerged from the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in October, 1965. It affirmed the ongoing and eternal validity of the Divine Covenant with the Jewish people, and has been the inspiration for 50 years of ongoing, ever expanding interactions by Christians and Jews.