Inter-faith dialogue pioneer Rabbi Erwin Schild honoured

  • December 2, 2010
Rabbi SchildTORONTO - Christian-Jewish dialogue isn’t just about Christians and Jews. It’s about how human beings should conduct themselves, how we secure a future of peace, how we know God and how we repair the world, said one of the pioneers of religious dialogue in Canada.

Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, along with the Canadian Jewish Congress, put on a gala dinner to honour Rabbi Erwin Schild and his wife Laura Schild at the Liberty Grand banquet hall in Toronto Nov. 24. Bishops, rabbis, reverend doctors and theologians were among those gathered to honour him

“We’re not there to convert. We’re not there to create some hybrid religion,” said Schild of his 40-plus years of dialogue with Christians. “We’re linking arms with our companions. We shall work to make this wonderful country of Canada into an even better country and ultimately to make this world, the only one we have, into a better world.”

Schild, who is nearing 90, was rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation in Toronto from 1947 to 1989, building the tiny Romanian Synagogue up to an assembly of 1,900 families. He is the author of three books, a Member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

However, Schild’s early experience in life was less ideal. At 18 he was imprisoned at Dachau. Allowed to escape to Britain on the condition he never return to Germany, Schild lost his parents and his entire family to the Holocaust. He was imprisoned in England as a possible German threat to national security, then shipped to Canada. In Canada he was again put behind barbed wire, until Rabbi Avraham Price took him on probation as a Yeshiva student in 1942.

“I want to thank you for building bridges of friendship with so many of us in this room,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., in a keynote address.

From the most recent papal encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, to the common elements in Advent and Chanukah, Christians and Jews share a destiny and a vocation in ethical living, said Prendergast.

“The world looks to us Jews and Christians for a message and for an example,” he said. “We have a common longing for the fruits of the messianic kingdom.”

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible, which has become acutely important amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.