Nearly 200 women of faith around Los Angeles will come together next week for the 42nd annual Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference, an event co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Global Jewish Advocacy, Loyola Marymount University, and the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations.

This year’s event is all the more poignant because of the deadly attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earlier this month. 

“Witnessing the horrific increase of anti-Semitism around the world and in our country, the Annual Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference offers evidence that Pope Saint John Paul II’s prayer that Jews and Catholics be a blessing to one another can indeed be a reality,” said Father Alexei Smith, Ecumenical and Interreligious officer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

With the theme “Facing the human challenge of forgiveness,” the event will feature keynote speakers Alison Wissot, Rabbi Cantor from Temple Judea, and Ellie Hidalgo, pastoral associate of Dolores Mission Parish in Boyle Heights. 

The program includes a cultural exchange with the Dolores Mission Choir and a drama performed by the Jewish Women’s Theater troupe. After lunch, participants will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about this year’s theme and how to put it into practice in their daily lives to strengthen Catholic-Jewish relationships.

“It will be wonderful to see over 200 women of different backgrounds and beliefs turn out at this Conference to listen, learn and understand,” said Carryl H. Carter, the Conference Jewish chair.

The first Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference was held in 1977, requested by of a group of Catholic religious women after the Nostra Aetate, the 1965 declaration of Vatican II against anti-Semitism. Since then, the conference has been held annually, usually on Veteran’s Day. For more information, visit

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