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About the Council in New South Wales

PATRON:  H. E. Professor Dr. Marie Bashir AC, CVO Governor of NSW

SPONSORING  BODIES:  Anglican Diocese of Sydney | Great Synagogue | Greek Orthodox Church | Lutheran Church of NSW | The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies | The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney | Temple Emanuel Woollahra | The Salvation Army | The Uniting Church in Australia.

Work and Influence of the Council

A CCJ existed in Sydney briefly from 1943-48, the move initiated by the late Rabbi Israel Porush, Chief Minister of The Great Synagogue. In 1974, his successor, Rabbi Apple in collaboration with several leaders attempted to re-establish the CCJ , but after resistance from some churches established an interfaith Luncheon Club. This continues to meet bi-monthly as part of today's overall Council calendar of activities.. In 1988, when Sr. Shirley Sedawie (NDS) returned from SIDIC in Rome, a CCJ was initiated in Sydney with the assistance of Rabbi Apple, Rev Bern Stevens of the Uniting Church and Sr Lenore Sharry (NDS) who had done pioneering work in Jewish Christian Relations in Sydney since 1980 when a community of Sisters of Sion was established there..

The sponsoring bodies of the NSW Council of Christians and Jews are the Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney: Great Synagogue, Sydney: Greek Orthodox Church: Lutheran Church of NSW: NSW Jewish Board of Deputies: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney: Temple Emmanuel Woollahra: The Salvation Army: Uniting Church of Australia.

Significant Activities

Energy continues to be focussed on Holocaust education. Each year a Christian commemorative service for the Holocaust is held in the crypt of St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral on the theme of "Never Again".

An annual seminar for Christian teachers and clergy on the subject of the Shoah is held April or May with the aim of disseminating information to these important multipliers. Also on the Holocaust agenda, the Council holds an annual commemoration of the Night of Broken Glass which his held at Sydney's Cenotaph in the heart of the city.. In some years, churches and synagogues have been asked to leave on their lights on the anniversary of that event. The Council acknowledges the ongoing support for this important event in its calendar of activities on the part of the NSW Government.

The NSW Council maintains an active calendar of events. These have included an annual Passover demonstration directed to non-Jewish audiences; panel discussions and seminars on current topics of relevance and evenings of multi-denominational poetry and music. The Council has formed a working relationship with Mandelbaum Trust at the University of Sydney whereby it is able to utilise the presence of visiting scholars to Sydney as Council lecturers.

The Christian-Jewish Luncheon Club continues to meet bi-monthly at the Great Synagogue. Each year's programs are based on a common theme running right through the year.

2000 marked the acceptance by the Governor of NSW, the Hon. Gordon Samuels, AO of patronage of the Council, continued this year by the incoming Governor, HE Dr. Marie Bashir, AO.

The Christian & Jewish "Scene", the Australian Council's quarterly newsletter continues to be published and is now distributed to all Council branches including the ACT.. Originally an initiative of the Sisters of Sion, the editorship moved to Sydney in 1992.

Interfaith work, and the building of trust between different religious communities continues slowly. Courses on Christian-Jewish relations at which Jewish and Christian speakers lecture are offered from time to time at theological colleges. The Council awards medals each year for outstanding Hebrew scholars in non Jewish educational institutions.

Over the years, activities have included visits to churches and synagogues, symposia on topic such as ethics or the break between the Church and the Synagogue and hosting overseas speakers jointly with the Jewish community, such as in the case of the visit this year of ICCJ President, Rabbi Dr. David Rosen, a joint initiative of CCJ and the B'nai B'rith Anti Defamation League.

The Council of Christians and Jews New South Wales
Reg.Office: 2 Devine St.
Erskineville, NSW 2043
Tel: 61-2 9351 4162 Fax: 61-2 9351 2890