By A. James Rudin

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Maryland became a haven for Catholics who were not welcome in other British colonies. But it was not until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that millions of Jews and Catholics came to the United States. In some ways, both communities share recent immigrant experiences. Catholics, mainly from Ireland, Italy, and Poland, began to encounter Jews, often in the same schools, urban neighborhoods, and work places. The immigration experience changed some long-held perceptions and stereotypes, but it did not fundamentally alter the basic outlook and teaching about each other that was carried by the new arrivals from Europe.

19 William Penn (1644-1718), who in 1681 founded the English colony in America that bears his family name, was a Friend. Pennsylvania’s first Yearly Meeting was established the same year in Philadelphia, and the city has remained a center of Quaker life ever since. Two Quaker groups, Friends United Meeting and the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, are members of both the NCC and the WCC. The United Meeting has its headquarters in Richmond, Indiana. Friends generally do not have rituals, sacraments, Bible readings, or ser- 40 A Jewish Guide to Interreligious Relations mons.

Texas and Missouri have the largest concentration of Disciples. S. presidents James A. Garfield, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan were Disciples of Christ. Congregations are highly independent, and there is no official dogma or theological doctrine except for belief in Jesus and baptism by immersion. The Disciples’ headquarters are in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the church holds a general assembly every two years. The Christian Church is highly ecumenical and was a founder of both the NCC and the WCC.

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