Arts and Culture | Local

Exhibit on Pope, Jews prompts JFSA bus trip

Pope John Paul II visits Rome’s Great Synagogue with Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff in April 1986, the first recorded papal visit to a synagogue.

The Northwest Division of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is sponsoring a bus trip to Phoenix on Tuesday, Nov. 29 to attend the exhibit, “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People.”

The 2,000 square foot, multi-media traveling exhibit chronicles the friendship of two Polish boys, Karol Wojtyla and Jerzy Kluger, which laid the groundwork for a historic reconciliation between the Catholic and Jewish faiths. Wojtyla grew up to become Pope John Paul II and Kluger, the sole member of his family to survive the Holocaust, became his personal emissary to the State of Israel.

The exhibit, which includes photographs, artifacts, videos and historical documents, is divided into four parts: Wojtyla’s childhood in Wadowice, Poland; the years of the Holocaust and World War II; Wojytla’s rise from priest to bishop to cardinal; and the papacy of John Paul II.

“A Blessing to One Another” will be on display at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 415 E. Grant St., Phoenix, from Oct. 26 through Dec. 11. The exhibit was created by Xavier University, Hillel Jewish Student Center and the Shtetl Foundation.

The Northwest Division of JFSA will sponsor two buses on Nov. 29, one leaving from Dove Mountain Blvd./Twin Peaks Road and Tangerine Road, and one from the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Buses will leave at 8 a.m. and return around 5 p.m. The cost of the trip is $45 per person and includes a kosher box lunch, bus snacks and water, a private tour of the Blessing exhibit, a tour of Queen Creek Olive Mill and a tip for the bus drivers.

To RSVP, contact Anne Lowe at or 577-9393, ext. 130. For more information on the exhibit, go to