Klenicki, Leon

Rabbi Leon Klenicki worked with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York for almost 30 years, serving first as head of the Jewish-Catholic Relations department (1973-1984), then as director of the Department of Interfaith Affairs (1984-2001). A native of Argentina, he received his education at the University of Buenos Aires and the Hebrew Union College?Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S.A.). In 1967 he became director of the Latin American office of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. At the invitation of CELAM (the Latin American Bishops Conference) and the Argentine Council of Jews and Christians, he undertook a study of the presentation of the Jews and Judaism in Roman Catholic catechisms and religious texts, the first such study in Latin America. In 1969 Rabbi Klenicki became spiritual leader of Congregation Emanu-El in Buenos Aires. He published a prayer book as well as a Passover Haggadah in Spanish and Hebrew. While serving at the ADL, Rabbi Klenicki edited or co-edited several volumes on Christian-Jewish relations in the ?Stimulus Series” published by Paulist Press, including Issues in the Jewish-Christian Dialogue: Jewish Perspectives on Covenant, MIssion and Witness; Biblical Studies: Meeting Ground of Jews and Christians; Toward a Theological Encounter: Jewish Understandings of Christianity; and A Dictionary of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue. He has also contributed articles to many periodicals and edited several journals on interfaith affairs published by the Anti-Defamation League. With Dr. Eugene J. Fisher of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops he co-edited From Desolation to Hope: An Interreligious Holocaust Memorial Service as well as Spiritual Pilgrimage: Texts on Judaism 1979-1995 by Pope John Paul II. He co-authored Believing Today: Jew and Christian in Conversation with Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, and, with Father Peter Stravinskas, A Catholic-Jewish Encounter.  With a group of Christian scholars, he edited De Dios: El Hombre y La Vida, a volume of biblical commentaries illustrated by 20 Argentinian painters. Following his retirement in 2001, Rabbi Klenicki became the first Hugo Gryn Fellow at the Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge, England. He serves as Professor of Jewish Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York, as well as Visiting Professor at the Louvain Catholic University in Belgium.  Rabbi Klenicki has been appointed by the government of Argentina to the commission investigating Nazi activities in Argentina from 1933 to 1945.