Rabbi Aaron Gaber, didn't know Pope Benedict XVI would retire and a new pope would be elected in 2013 when he helped choose an expert on Catholic-Jewish relations for this year's Charlotte M. Kulp Scholar in Residence program at Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor.

Father Dennis McManus, a consultant for jewish affairs at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., agreed to the May appearance late last summer.

"Then suddenly Pope Benedict resigned," Gaber said. "This is a great opportunity for someone ... to teach us more about what Pope Francis will be like."

Gaber said the 11-year-old program, held in memory of Cantor Ed Kulp's mother, Charlotte, who died in 2001, had always before focused on Jewish speakers and subjects. He hopes people of all religious backgrounds will attend McManus' two talks, which he expects will focus in part on the shared religious histories of Jews and Christians.

He also hopes there will be discussions of how Jews can work with Christians, even though some fundamentalists "don't think people can be saved until they accept Jesus as Messiah," which is something Jews cannot do.

"How is it we can get along and what is important for us to be talking about as Christians and Jews?," Gaber asked.

Hospice director

Hemang Dave, a board-certified medical oncologist and partner of Hope Community Cancer Center, has been appointed medical director of hospice services at Cape Visiting Nurse Association.

The hospice is a joint venture between Cape Regional Medical Center and Visiting Nurse Association Health Group,

Dave has been a member of the medical staff at Cape Regional Medical Center since 1997, where he serves as chairman of the Department of Medical Oncology. He graduated from B. J. Medical College in Gujarat, India, and did further training at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, Middlesex County.

If You Go:

Father Dennis McManus will speak about Catholic respect for Jews at the 7 p.m. service May 3; and on Judaism and current issues in Catholic-Jewish relations in the U.S. at the 9 a.m.service (McManus speaks about 10:30 a.m.) May 4 at Congregation Beth Judah, 700 N. Swarthmore Ave., Ventnor. Program free, luncheon $18. Call 609-822-7116, extension 101.