A meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican was ‘an incredible moment’ for these Jewish community leaders from Toronto

Michael Levitt is still in awe of his half-hour meeting last Wednesday with Pope Francis inside the Vatican. Fred Waks calls his encounter with the head of the Catholic Church “pretty breathtaking”.

Levitt and Waks were part of a larger delegation of 30 people from the Simon Wiesenthal Center organization who travelled to Rome for a private audience June 22 with the 85-year-old Pope to discuss their concerns about rising antisemitism around the world.

“I was so fortunate to be there and be able to interact and provide an expression of the feelings I believe that so many in our Jewish community have, about what we’re seeing taking place around us,” Levitt told The CJN Daily.

The centrepiece of the meeting was a presentation to the Pope of a copy of a 1919 letter by Adolph Hitler which scholars consider the Nazi leader’s earliest outline of how he was going to get rid of the world’s Jews.