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Interfaith Dinner with the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

Interfaith Dinner with the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

26 October 2010

Nearly a hundred people came together for the third successful Jewish-Anglican dinner hosted by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) at Beth Weizmann on 21st October, 2010.

John Searle, President of the JCCV, stated that “The JCCV believes it is important to develop new, and enhance existing ties with other religious and cultural communities in Victoria. This is because there are many issues in common that we as separate communities each face, and also many issues that we as Victorians all face together. It is only with a solid basis of friendship and trust that we will be able to deal with these issues most effectively.” Searle continued to say that “there is something very special about sharing a meal together, and the evening represented a further step forward in strengthening the bonds of friendship that exist between our communities.”

The guests were welcomed by John Searle and Archdeacon Philip Newman OAM, who expressed a wish to one day host the dinner albeit acknowledging the kashrut issues. The St. Kilda Hebrew Congregation Choir sang for the guests and Archbishop Philip Freier said grace before meals,” remarking how glad he was that there was no clash between the 2 communities as to when we give our thanks for the food.

The guest speakers for the evening were Eli Yerushalmi, Deputy Chief of Mission Embassy of Israel, Canberra and Right Reverend John Bayton AM GCSJ. Eli Yerushalmi spoke about his very close friendship with the Archbishop of Cantebury and his postings around the world in Canada, Egypt and London to the Bible Belt of America - Houston, Texas. He expressed his disappointment with the Anglican Synod and the resolution to support a partial BDS by the National Council of Churches Australia. He explained how the Palestinian right of return would obliterate Israel as a Jewish State, the very premise upon which it was established, highlighting the importance for Anglicans to work alongside the Jewish community.

John Bayton, the second guest speaker, who is a master iconographer and artist, gave a very learned and interesting account of Jerusalem icons through the ages.  His breadth of knowledge of many Jewish traditions and others showed a deep interest across the faiths and it was quite apparent that in terms of interfaith relations, the Reverend has been practicing interfaith activities for quite some time. He presented and explained his colorful art works of Jerusalem and the three Hebraic faiths intrinsically bound together.

The JCCV acknowledge the generosity of the Victorian Multicultural Commission for enabling this dinner to occur.

For more information contact John Searle at the JCCV on 03 9272 5566




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