Bat Kol Institute exists to foster Jewish Studies, defined as study of the Word of God (Torah) within its Jewish milieu, using Jewish sources, ancient and modern, with the help of Jewish and Christian scholars. Our reason for these studies is that Christianity is rooted in Judaism as a plant is rooted in the earth; it cannot live apart from the soil in which it is planted.
Our motto is: We will hear and we will do (Deut. 5:27).
The inspiration for its founding, Nostra Aetate, is given direction in the subsequent ecclesial documents, and in this encouragement of Pope John Paul II: "In the dialogue with other religions, the church gives pride of place to the Jewish people, ‘our elder brothers and sisters'... There is much that Christians and Jews share together, and it is vital now that Christians should learn more of that common heritage" (Rome, April 28, 1999).
Nostra Aetate #4 states, "Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wishes to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit above all of biblical and theological studies, and of brotherly dialogues."
Most essential concepts in the Christian creed grew at first in Judaic soil. Uprooted from that soil, these basic concepts cannot be perfectly understood (US National Council of Catholic Bishops). Christian theologians of recent years have increasingly recognized both the historical interdependence of Judaism and Christianity and the continued significance of Judaism for Christian theology.
Bat Kol was founded as an institute where Christians can engage in biblical studies and explore their own historical relationship with the Jewish tradition as a whole. The necessity for Christians to engage in biblical studies and explore their own historical relationship with the Jewish tradition as a whole was given added impetus by the signing of the accord of recognition between the Vatican and the State of Israel on 29 December 1993.
Each July, Bat Kol Institute organizes intense month-long graduate level courses in Jerusalem, accredited by the Gregorian University in Rome, the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, and several other international universities.