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"Historic" Meeting between Croatian and Jewish Communities

25 July 2011

Last Friday marked the first ever visit of a Jewish leader to the Consulate General of Croatia in Melbourne, when Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president John Searle met with Croatian Consul-General Antun Babic at the Consulate.

The meeting served to strengthen the warm relationship that has been developing between the Croatian and Jewish communities in recent months, which included the attendance of the Consul General and his wife at the JCCV’s annual Yom Hashoah commemoration in April.

Searle said he was pleased to be able to meet with the Consul-General at the Consulate and called the visit “an historic meeting”.

“As the voice of the Victorian Jewish community, the JCCV seeks to develop harmony and positive relationships between our community and the wider Victorian community, and I am delighted to now be able to include the Croatian community in our circle of friends,” said Searle. “The meetings I have had with Mr Babic to date have been exceedingly cordial and we are exploring ways to bring our two communities closer together,” Searle added.

Mr Babic also expressed his pleasure at the developing relationship and said, “I wish to express my sincere thanks to John Searle and other Jewish community leaders in Victoria for their full and sincere cooperation in this regard.

“Both communities are amongst very early settlers in this country and have contributed greatly to Australia’s successful economic development.”

He added that “the forging of closer links between the two communities today is also an extension of the excellent bilateral relations enjoyed by the State of Israel and the Republic of Croatia in recent years”.

The JCCV and Consulate General of Croatia hope to organise a supper between representatives of the two communities in the near future.

For further information, please contact:

John Searle, President JCCV – (03) 9272 5566
Michelle Coleman, Executive Director JCCV – (03) 9272 5579

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