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JCCV Builds Bridges with its First Iftar Dinner

JCCV Builds Bridges with its First Iftar Dinner

20 June 2016

On Sunday, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) co-hosted its first Iftar Dinner with the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), attended by 80 community and faith leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities.  Iftar dinners are traditionally held by Muslims to break the fast during Ramadan.

Ms Jennifer Huppert, JCCV President stated, “This is the first Iftar dinner for many attending.  It has provided an opportunity for us to learn about each other’s faiths, and build relationships across our communities.  Next year, we hope to hold a similar dinner based around a Jewish festival ”

Frank McGuire MP, Member for Broadmeadows, representing the Hon Robin Scott, Minister for Multicultural Affairs said “we are all Australians”, and spoke against religious intolerance, and stressed the importance of working together and having the freedom to practice one’s religion.

David Southwick MP, member for Caulfield, representing Inga Peulich, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, spoke about the multi-party support for multiculturalism in Victoria, and how the state was leading the way in building effective relationships across communities.

The main discussion on the evening revolved around the Joint Journey to Jerusalem where eleven faith leaders, Jewish, Muslim and Christian visited Israel on a rigorous inter-faith learning program, organised by the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA).  Leaders of the program, including the Rev Ian Smith and Ashok Jacob Executive Director and President of the Victorian Council of Churches, Mohamed Mohideen Vice President of the ICV and Rabbi Ralph Genende President of the JCMA presented on the evening.  They spoke about their personal journeys, religious experience, friendships made and the sometimes difficult political debates undertaken.

Bayram Aktepe, President of the ICV, spoke about the importance of standing up for the other, regardless of race or religion.  He stated that “an attack on a Muslim is an attack on a Jew.  An attack on a Jew, is an attack on a Muslim.  No Muslim should be afraid of supporting the Jewish community.”

Ms Huppert thanked the Victorian Government for funding the event under its Community Harmony grants program.

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