At the Vatican, Tel Aviv University President Joseph Klafter presents Pope Francis with a gift from Israel: a "Dove of Peace," created by Israeli artist, Anat Meir. .
(photo credit: COURTESY/TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY)
Pope Francis on Monday met with a delegation from Tel Aviv University in hopes of creating stronger bonds between the Jewish and Christian communities.
The delegation, which was held at The Vatican, was headed by Prof. Joseph Klafter, the University’s president and attended by members of the university’s board of trustees.
Klafter addressed the pope by praising the role of universities in promoting research and creating knowledge that benefits humanity while also highlighting Israel’s contribution to this field. “Tel Aviv University aims to combat racism, anti-Semitism and any manifestation of intolerance, and to promote human values of interfaith understanding and appreciation,” Klafter said.
In return, Pope Francis stressed the need to develop a culture of wisdom that can form future leaders who are sensitive to the profound ethical issues facing our societies.
“Our world urgently needs to develop a culture of wisdom.
We need to find ways of forming leaders capable of striking out on new paths in the effort to meet today’s needs without prejudice to future generations,” he said during a brief speech to the delegation.
“Meeting this challenge in an effective way is all the more important in the light of our rapidly evolving global society, marked by social and economic crises and intergenerational conflicts. I am confident that your University will strive to produce future leaders sensitive to the profound ethical issues facing our societies and the need to protect and care for the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters,” the pope added.
Following the exchange, Klafter said, “The meeting and its publication in the Christian world are especially important today, against the backdrop of manifestations of anti-Semitism and calls for a boycott of Israeli academia.”
To mark the occasion, Klafter also gifted the pope with a sculpture of a ‘dove of peace’ created by Israeli artist, Anat Meir.