‘Bridges’ and other events

It is our pleasure to keep you informed on events and publications initiated by ICCJ member organizations. This time we are honored to draw your attention to a new book ‘Bridges’ and to the activities of our Australian colleagues.


This volume, published by Paulist Press, is edited by Dr. Frank Sherman, founding director of the Institute for Christian-Jewish understanding of Muhlenberg College and active in ICCJ since many years. Dr. Sherman, introducing the volume wrote: It is intended as a "comprehensive though not unabridged" collection of the most important documents of the Jewish-Christian dialogue. Volume 1 is subtitled The Road to Reconciliation, 1945-1985. It contains 68 documents, 4 of which appear here in English for the first time (all from the German) to the best of my knowledge. Five ICCJ-related documents are included -- four from the early conferences in 1946-47 and the "Guidelines on the Teaching of History" from 1985.” More information on www.paulistpress.com.




The (outgoing) President of the New South Wales Council of Christians and Jews (Sydney, Australia), our colleague William Szekely, shared with us an article which appeared on the website of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Catholic students participated in the Sydney Kristallnacht memorial service: http://www.sydney.catholic.org.au/news/latest_news/2011/2011111_483.shtml


During the Annual Meeting of the NSW-CCJ, August 24, Rabbi Paul Jacobson of the Great Sydney synagogue, gave a lecture ‘Walking with our Ancestors’, explaining the meaning of rituals, focusing on the Festival of Sukkoth. Rabbi Jacobson ends his address with the following words:


We remember and reflect on why we continue to practise and find meaning in our ancient rituals. Because our rituals help us to reflect, to connect with community past and present. Because rituals are symbolic and remind us that we need to make a difference. Because rituals create context for life’s experiences – giving us the space to rejoice or mourn, providing a context and a structure for joy or sadness. Because rituals afford us the opportunity to be with others, to mark life’s moments, to uncover the blessings of the limited time that we have here on Earth. And because rituals allow us the opportunity, the blessed opportunity to connect in conversation with God, the ultimate Source of meaning. May each of us continue to search for the resonance within our rituals, and may we rise from these rituals better people, strengthened in our efforts to make the world a better place.



At this meeting Rev. John Queripel was appointed President of CCJNSW. John is a Uniting Church minister in Bondi. New Vice President is Jenny van Proctor.




These words are added to our website on November 9, the day we remember the terrible event of the so called Reichskristallnacht 1938. From this house, were I am writing these lines to you, that evening Martin Buber’s books were thrown out of the window and burnt in the street. The synagogue of Heppenheim was burnt down that night. This evening, 73 years later, we will convene with Heppenheim citizens to listen to a Holocaust survivor. And then we will walk uphill where the synagogue was and stand there in silence.


Rev. Dick Pruiksma