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Meeting With Buddhist Council of Victoria

07 September 2009

Initiated by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the first ever meeting between Victoria’s organised Jewish and Buddhist communities took place recently.

Initiated by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the first ever meeting between Victoria’s organised Jewish and Buddhist communities took place recently.

According to its president John Searle, the JCCV has adopted a more comprehensive and considered interfaith strategy.

“Following analysis of Census data which demonstrated a rapidly changing Victorian society, our executive director Geoffrey Zygier presented a plan to the JCCV Executive. Without neglecting its positive relationships with the Christian and Muslim communities, he proposed that the JCCV engage more with the growing faith groups which have emerged in Victoria. This meeting with the Buddhist Council of Victoria followed a get-together with members of the Baha’i community in late July.”

Office-bearers from the Buddhist Council of Victoria met with members of the JCCV executive for a casual meal at the Beth Weizmann community centre on the evening of 31 August 2009. Although formalities were kept to a minimum, brief and informative presentations were made on Jewish and Buddhist teachings by Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum and The Venerable Phra Maka Boonsom respectively. Questions and discussion followed.

“While our paths often cross at various functions and meetings, there is usually little opportunity for developing greater mutual understanding” said Searle. “Our focus was on getting to know each other better for two primary reasons. Firstly, this bridge-building exercise was a concrete example of the Jewish community’s commitment to Victoria’s culturally diverse society. Secondly, the Buddhist community is the largest non-Christian faith group in Australia and we see potential for our communities to undertake joint activities in the future.”

The JCCV also has a meeting scheduled with the Executive of the organised Hindu community in October.

For further information call Geoffrey Zygier on 03 9272 5579

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