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Bruno Hussar - Chronology

Tuesday 24 May 2016

1911 Birth in Cairo, Egypt. “I have been a Hungarian citizen, then an Italian. My father and mother were non-practicing Jews, and my mother tongue was English, then French. I made my high school studies at the Italian High School in Cairo.”

1929 Bruno went to live in France. He entered the Central School of the Arts and Industries, where he received a diploma in 1936.

It is then that through the figure of Jesus he encountered God. He was baptized at a Catholic Church.

1936-1942 Bruno worked as an engineer. He received his French nationality in 1937.
“Under German occupation I became much more deeply aware of my Jewishness.”
He was obliged to flee from Paris and enter the “Free Zone”. When looking for work, he encountered “the bitter experience of antisemitism.”

1941 Bruno fell ill. “Those three years, two of them spent in complete immobility, gave me time to think things over.”

1945 Entered the Dominican Order, in the province of Paris. Pursued studies in philosophy and theology at Le Saulchoir theological school.

1950 Bruno was ordained as a priest.

“Fr. Avril made me part of his desire to found a center for Jewish studies in the Jewish half of Jerusalem, along the lines of the Dominican center for Islamic studies in Cairo. He had thought that I, as a Jew by birth, might undertake this foundation and asked me to think it over.”

1953 Bruno came to live in Israel.

“With my arrival in Israel came a growing conviction: I was a son of Israel! This people I was living among were my people. This country I was living in was my country.”

1953 – 1959 Bruno prepared the future institution. He lived in Jaffa and served as a pastoral minister, for French, English and Italian speakers.

“In 1954, on the initiative of a group of priests of whom I was one, the St. James’ Foundation was established” (for setting in order relations between Jews and Christians).

“At the beginning of 1959, Brother James Fontaine, a Bible enthusiast, asked to join the Jerusalem foundation... At the beginning of winter, Brother James and I took up residence in the House of Isaiah. Or, rather, we camped there...”

1964 – 1965 Bruno was the co-founder of many ecumenical and Jewish-Christian associations in Israel: the Rainbow group, the Ecumenical and Theological Brotherhood, and the Association for Understanding Between Religions”.

1964 – 1965 Bruno participated in the Vatican II Ecumenical Council. He was named as an expert consultant to the Secretariat for Unity Among Christians, in the editing and presentation of the Nostra Aetate document, in matters concerning the relations of the Church with the Jewish people. The text was adopted and promulgated.

1966 Bruno received Israeli citizenship.

1967 Immediately following the “Six Day War”, Bruno took part in the General Assembly of the United Nations as a counselor for the Israeli delegation.

1968 – 1970 The Israeli Minister of Tourism sent him on a mission to the United States, Canada and several European countries, where he attended conferences on the Bible and Jewish-Christian relations.

1970 While continuing to take part in the work of the House of Isaiah, Bruno founded Neve Shalom with a group of lay persons.

“We had in mind a small village composed of inhabitants from different communities in the country...”

“It was impossible to imagine a communal life shared by Jews and Christians in Israel without taking account those other sons of Abraham, the Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, who live in this country.”

“The purpose would be to prove that living together is possible… and, at the same time, to found a ’School for Peace’, for peace is also an art. It doesn’t appear spontaneously, it has to be learnt.”

1970 – 1976 The pioneer years of Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom. With a few others, Bruno lived on the hilltop in very difficult material conditions.

1977 The beginning of a new phase of development of WAS-NS with the arrival of the first Israeli (Jewish and Palestinian) families.

1980 Received the New Outlook prize for peace.

1983 Appearance of his book, When the Cloud Lifted (French edition) as part of the collection “That for which I live”, Cerf Editions, Paris, 1983. Second edition, 1988.
The book was translated into English, Italian and German.

1988 Received a personal recommendation for receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1994 Received the French Judeo-Christian Friendship award.

Towards the end of December 1995, Bruno remained active in Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom, particularly in the branch of activities known as “Doumia”, in the reception of visiting groups, in many overseas delegations, and in welcoming many visitors. He also participated in ecumenical and theological meetings such as symposiums.

In 1988, at age 77, Bruno wrote:

“Tongues of fire rest over stages of the Journey already accomplished and seem to call for my attention… Over all this hovers the Spirit, inviting me to explore the pathways that I thought I knew, where I still make unsuspected and wonderful discoveries.”

Also in this section

  • Booklet on Bruno Hussar

    Tuesday 24 May 2016 by Anne Le Meignen

    In honor of the 20th anniversary year of Bruno’s death, this is a translation of articles originally published by Anne Le Meignen in 1996.

  • Our Bruno

    Tuesday 24 May 2016 by Joseph Emmanuel

    Joseph Emmanuel (1933 - 2013) wrote this for a booklet written by Anne Le Meignen, which he translated into Hebrew.

  • My Bruno

    Tuesday 2 December 2008 by Abdessalam Najjar

    I first met Bruno in a dialogue encounter session for Jewish and Arab students, at the home of Reuven Moscovitz, a teacher who had joined the group. This was in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv. At (...)

  • Bruno

    Wednesday 21 May 2008 by Bob Mark

    Words read to Rev. Nichiko Niwano and a delegation from the Rissho Kosei-Kai Organization who came to pay their respects at the grave of Fr. Bruno.

  • From the "Will" of Bruno Hussar

    Wednesday 28 February 1996

    From the "Will" of Bruno Hussar * To my companions in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam: I ask that everything concerning my burial in N.S. will take place under the direction of Anne and Yohanon (...)

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