Each year the Amitié judéo-chrétienne de France awards its Prize to a person, Jewish or Christian, who has contributed significantly to Christian-Jewish understanding. The Prize for 2009 has been awarded to Armand Abécassis, former professor of philosophy at the Universities of Strasbourg and of Bordeaux, author of many publications on Judaism and on the Jewish perception of the New Testament. He has for many years been much in demand as a speaker and discussion leader at Christian-Jewish encounters, often with Chief Rabbi of France Gilles Bernheim and Father Bernard Dupuy. The award ceremony provided the opportunity for a number of artisans of dialogue – Pastor Florence Taubmann, Father Jean Dujardin, Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, Madeleine Cohen (former Secretary General of the A.J.-C.F.), Jacqueline Cuche (of the Charles Péguy Association of Strasbourg), Claudine Maison (of the Davar Association) and Sister Anne-Emmanuelle (of the convent of deaconesses of Grandchamp in Switzerland) – to contribute their testimony and convey how much they feel they owe, intellectually and spiritually, to Armand Abécassis. Professor Abécassis responded by underlining how much progress the dialogue has made and by setting forth a number of “real questions” which need to be addressed. A dense ten-page bibliography of his writings completed the presentation.
Among the other components of this issue, we call particular attention to the Book Review section, one of our traditional features, which offers one- or two-column critiques of works which may be of interest to those working towards better Jewish-Christian understanding. Forty publications are covered this month.