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Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner hears about Multifaith Journey to Jerusalem

Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner hears about Multifaith Journey to Jerusalem

23 June 2014

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Ecumenical Interfaith Commission (EIC) hosted the annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner with 100 Catholic and Jewish community leaders attending the event at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne.

David Southwick MP, Member for Caulfield and James Merlino MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition were both in attendance to lend their support for this important cross-communal bridge-building.

Nina Bassat AM, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and Fr Denis Stanley, Chair of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission (EIC) welcomed guests and speakers, as well as the opportunity to join together in good faith and friendship.

The focus of this year’s event were presentations from three of the participants in the recent joint Jewish, Christian and Muslim Multifaith Journey to Jerusalem.  In the landmark event, four people from each of the faith groups visited each other’s major religious sites in Jerusalem and studied each other’s key religious texts.  The objective was to increase understanding and friendships across the religious communities.

Some of the places that the group visited as serious students of religion and history included the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Yad Vashem, Hadassah Hospital, various churches  and the Hebrew University.

The speakers from the Jerusalem study tour were Rabbi Adam Stein (Jewish), Fr John Dupuche (Catholic), and Ms Rufiath Yousuff (Muslim).  They highlighted the key learnings from the trip, as well as the importance of the experience in building mutual respect and addressing what were sometimes difficult issues arising from religious texts.

Nina Bassat, spoke about the current worrying issues in the region and said, "We can take hope that this microcosm of goodwill and the many like it throughout the world, can somehow expand to encompass a critical mass - a critical mass which can become influential in creating greater universal understanding."

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