“When an AJC delegation met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in February 2014, we presented him with a copy of the Jewish Museum exhibit book inside an artistic and inscribed gift box. We showed him page 105 of the exquisite volume, where a print of White Crucifixion is included. Francis was moved by our recognition of his emotional connection to the painting and responded with a joyous smile.”
“When the Pope concluded his remarks, AJC presented him with a gift of the catalogue from the recent Marc Chagall retrospective at the Jewish Museum. The book contained an image of “White Crucifixion,” a favorite painting of Pope Francis which used Christian symbolism to alert the world of the suffering of Jews on the brink of the Shoa. Upon seeing this image the Pope was visibly moved and his smile gave hope to our delegation that he might put our gift in his personal quarters.”
American Jewish Committee Chicago board member David Inlander, on the left, presents to Francis a gift, the book, “Chagall: Love, War and Exile,” which includes his favorite blasphemous painting, Marc Chagall’s “White Crucifixion,” In the center is Stan Bergman, president of American Jewish Committee’s national board of governors.
“David Inlander and Jerry Biederman of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Chicago met with the pope to discuss his upcoming trip to Israel as well as persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
“I am very grateful to you for the distinguished contribution you have made to dialogue and fraternity between Jews and Catholics,” Pope Francis said to Inlander and Biederman.
At the meeting, Inlander of Fischel & Kahn LTD and Biederman of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP gave the Pope a book of Marc Chagall paintings.
“As I presented the gift to the pope, I told him that I hoped he would keep the Chagall book nearby as source of comfort and inspiration, and I prayed that God bless him with the gift of peace, the gift of Shalom,” Inlander said.
The Pope smiled at them and responded simply: “Shalom.” ”