Wigoder, Geoffrey

Geoffrey Wigoder

All of us on the Catholic side of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee mourn the loss of our dear friend and admired colleague, Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder. Editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Judaica, Dr. Wigoder had served since 1984 as the Israel delegate on the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), offering in that capacity several noteworthy papers. At the time of his death, in fact, he was the Chair of IJCIC.

Over the years, Dr. Wigoder published numerous incisive commentaries on the state of Jewish-Christian relations in general and specifically on the documents, Catholic and Protestant, produced by the churches to foster better understandings of Jews and Judaism among Christians. These commentaries, marked by a distinctive style which I would call "irenic criticism," invariably cut to the heart of the matter, thus nudging the churches along to further clarifications and theological progress.

He brought a vast amount of scholarship and empathetic understanding to bear in his book on Jewish-Christian Relations after World War II (Manchester University Press & St. Martin"s Press, 1988). His most recent contribution to his ongoing commentary on the churches was Jewish-Christian Interfaith Relations: Agendas for Tomorrow (Jerusalem: Institute of the World Jewish Congress, Policy Forum No. 14, 1998). As a Catholic practitioner of the dialogue, I shall miss him both professionally and personally. Our generation has been graced and strengthened by his leadership and his wisdom. May he rest
in peace.

Eugene J. Fisher
National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC