(JNS.org) Pope Francis received a delegation at the Vatican from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University on Monday to receive the school’s highest honor, the Award of Distinction.
The award, which was presented to the pope by Bar-Ilan University President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, recognizes the pontiff’s “contribution to understanding and tolerance between Christians and Jews and the warmth he has extended toward the Jewish nation, particularly during his official visit to Israel,” the university said.
Pope Francis visited Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories last May in one his first major international trips as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
“Through a variety of ongoing dialogue programs aimed at fostering understanding and acceptance, Bar-Ilan University has been working to bridge gaps between various sectors of Israeli society for many years. … It is, therefore, a deep privilege to be meeting with and honoring the pope, who has taken it upon himself to undertake this tremendous task on a worldwide scale,” Hershkowitz said in a statement.