History and Goal of the Institute
The Institute Saint Pierre de Sion, known as “Ratisbonne”, was found in Jerusalem in the nineteenth century by the Religious of Notre-Dame de Sion. In its beginning its fundamental occupation was the running of a professional school to respond to the needs of the local population of Jerusalem and surroundings. Following the Second Vatican Council, it became a Christian Center for Jewish Studies under the direction of the Brothers of Notre-Dame de Sion, with the collaboration of the Sisters of Notre-Dame de Sion and other teachers, both Jewish and Christian. The goal of the Institute was to put into practice the recommendations of the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, on the relationship between the Church and the Jewish people, and to do so in an international and ecumenical framework.
Currently the brothers of Sion, through an agreement, take over all activities of the Bat Kol Institute. This Institute was founded by Sr. Maureena Fritz, nds, who for several decades was in charge of Bat Kol activities. Its name has spread to all continents and contributed greatly to the formation of Christians on the importance of Judaism and the Jewish people for the understanding of the Christian faith. From now on all these activities will be continued by the Brothers of Our Lady of Sion, on Institute Saint Pierre de Sion-Ratisbonne and the name Bat Kol will be associated in the already existing name of the Christian Center for Jewish Studies. (Bat kol-Christian Center for Jewish Studies)
The Institute Saint Pierre de Sion-Ratisbonne is open to Christians who desire to know Judaism in its own right. The goal of the programs and activities of the Institute is to supply the Church with a place where it is possible for Christians to study Judaism and to have contact with the Jewish people in their own country. Emphasis is placed on the discovery of the sources of Judaism through the study of the fundamental texts of its tradition.
As the officials of the Church have emphasized repeatedly since the Second Vatican Council, knowledge of Judaism is one of the fundamental conditions for a better understanding of the Christian identity.
Who might want to apply?
Jewish tradition sheds a unique light on the Jewish and Christian Scriptures; it can renew our approach to certain theological questions; it allows us to better situate Jesus and the Church in their original milieu.
Thus, the Institute Saint Pierre de Sion-Ratisbonne is open to all Christians who wish to study Judaism, in particular to those who are involved in biblical and theological study, to those who hold responsibility for Christian education, and to those who wish to prepare for dialogue with Jews.
To all, the Institute offers basic formation in Jewish Tradition accompanied by a reflection from the advances teachings of the Church on the importance of Jewish studies for a better understanding of our Christian faith.