San Diego Jewish Academy leader returns from international leadership delegation and private audience with Pope Francis


San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) recently highlighted Allie Hauser, Head of the Golda Meir Lower School (GMLS), and her recent trip to Rome and the Vatican as part of an international leadership delegation of B’nai B’rith, according to a SDJA news release. The delegation, which included a variety of diplomatic meetings, a conversation with the Cardinal President of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and a private audience with Pope Francis, focused on furthering Catholic-Jewish relations and interreligious dialogue.

“The visit with the Vatican was both touching and inspirational,” said Hauser. “My personal goal was to learn more about the diplomatic importance of the Holy See. Professionally, I hoped to find opportunities to connect over shared values and link these values to the development of relational consciousness, social-emotional learning competencies, and best practices for authentic education. The visit accomplished that and so much more. I left not only inspired by the potential for interfaith collaboration on theological and service-oriented projects, but also by the deep Jewish history in the city of Rome and the significance of the chain of thousands of years of shared Jewish experience.”

In his remarks, Pope Francis commented, “Let us go forward together, on the basis of our shared spiritual values, to defend human dignity against all violence and to seek peace.”

The meetings focused on opportunities to build bridges based on shared values, promoting interfaith engagement in text study and theology, and common belief in responsibility to repair the world, Tikkun Olam.

During the meetings, Hauser shared inspirational information with the delegation about the values-based educational program developed at San Diego Jewish Academy and connected with representatives of the Vatican in their quest to inspire an ethic of service to the most vulnerable over the threat of indifference.

The delegation also advocated around central objectives of the organization, including combating antisemitism and defending the State of Israel. —SDJA news release