Notre Dame's presence in Jerusalem began at the request of Pope Paul VI. He envisioned a place for advanced theological studies there at the crossroads of many religions, and he tasked Notre Dame’s Father Theodore Hesburgh with creating that space. The Tantur Ecumenical Institute, the fruit of that vision, officially opened in 1972. Since then, it has played host to groups of monks, a peace academy inspired by Mennonite and Quaker scholars, renewal programs for missionaries and pastors, and countless scholars who have taken advantage of the library’s vast theological resources. It’s also housed a number of undergraduate and graduate scholars eager to explore the Holy Land.
The Gateway itself was established at Tantur in 2014. It offers study abroad opportunities for undergraduates, hosts academic conferences and workshops for Notre Dame faculty and international scholars, facilitates research and sabbatical opportunities, and cultivates partnerships with regional universities, faith-based institutions, and NGOs. The facility at Tantur holds 50 guest rooms, meeting facilities, office space, a chapel, prayer rooms, and a library.
The entrance to the Jerusalem Global Gateway is near the intersection of Rehov HaRosmarin and Hebron Road, opposite the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. From the hilltop, Gateway guests may view the town of Bethlehem, Mar Elias Monastery, and Herodian, a colossal fortress built by King Herod the Great. Both the Old City of Jerusalem and the city center of West Jerusalem are a 20-minute bus or taxi ride from the Gateway. The main entrance to Bethlehem is a five-minute walk, and from there visitors can easily find the Church of the Nativity or visit the historically Christian villages of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala.
For visitors to the Jerusalem Global Gateway, there is no shortage of academic, spiritual, or cultural opportunities in this rich and complex arena. For questions or inquiries, please contact us.
- 1965 Pope Paul VI summons Fr. Hesburgh to Rome and charges him with founding an ecumenical institute for advanced theological studies
- 1967 Fr. Hesburgh secures the funds from I.A. O'Shaughnessy to build the institute. Property belonging to the Knights of Malta is purchased by the Vatican and leased to ND for 50 years
- 1967 The Six Day War breaks out in June and the extension of the city boundaries of Jerusalem by Israel incorporates the Tantur Ecumenical Institute into this new jurisdiction
- 1971 The library begins to take shape, eventually becoming one of the finest resources for theological studies in the region
- 1972 Inauguration of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute
- 1984 The monks depart Tantur, ending the founding monastic component of the community
- 1985 New programs are introduced, including an undergraduate semester for ND students, a peace academy, and a renewal program for missionaries and pastors
- 1988 A number of continuing education programs are developed on topics such as Biblical archeology, Holy Land geography, Church history, and peace-making
- 2000 The second intifada begins; Tantur remains open throughout this period (although programs are curtailed), and increases its role as a bridge between Israel and the occupied West Bank
- 2014 Jerusalem Global Gateway is established at Tantur
- 2017 Jerusalem Global Gateway exceeds over 100 students in undergraduate programs and establishes research partnerships with area universities