DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     May 7, 1998     vol. 9, no. 89

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          BALTIMORE (CWNews.com) - A New York rabbi on Tuesday became the first to be awarded a papal knighthood during a ceremony presided over by Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore.

          Rabbi Mordecai Waxman, 81, of the Temple Israel Synagogue in Great Neck, New York, was named Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great, an honor that dates back to 1831. The award was presented by Cardinal Keeler, a longtime friend of the rabbi, made the presentation at St. Mary's Seminary during a meeting between Catholic bishops and Conservative and Reform rabbis.

          "Over the years, Rabbi Waxman has been a consistent peacemaker. He has worked for reconciliation between the Jewish people and the Catholic church," Cardinal Keeler said. "He has been a firm but fair teacher to all of us in the dialogue." The religious leaders are meeting to discuss Catholic-Jewish relations. "The groundwork has been established, (but) it most likely will take three generations for the fruits of our efforts to be fully realized," Waxman said. "There's a great need for education on both sides."

          The rabbi said he "touched and deeply moved" by the award. "This award reflects ... that I have had a brush with history," Waxman said. "There can be no greater privilege than that."

May 7, 1998       volume 9, no. 89


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