New Chief Executive Officer Sarah Egger
(English Translation of the German original by Dr Dietlind Pichler, Austria)
Some weeks ago the management of the Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation has changed: Sarah Egger followed Markus Himmelbauer who organized for 19 years the association's activities and had a decisive role in the relationship between the Christian churches and the Jewish communities.
"Since the interwar period, Vienna has been home of efforts to improve the understanding between Christians and Jews. I am honored that I was given the opportunity to operate in this unique place together with a number of exceptional personalities like Hans Kosmala, Kurt Schubert or Hedwig Wahle," Markus Himmelbauer reflected looking back at his years in Vienna. As of September Markus Himmelbauer has taken over the parish of Wolfsegg am Hausruck in the Diocese of Linz as a parish assistant.
Sarah Egger, his successor, studied Protestant theology and graduated with a BTh. In addition to her part-time employment at the Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation she pursues gender studies at the University of Vienna. The inter-religious cooperation is familiar to her from her time as a staff member of the forum for world religions and as a research assistant. "I want to ensure that we as Jews and Christians today both learn about each other and about ourselves, as well as that we form friendships that are stronger than terror and hatred and that will hold us together in peace.", Sarah Egger describes her commitment programmatically. The President of the Coordinating Committee, Martin Jäggle, is pleased: "Sarah Egger, as a young jewish woman, brings new impulses and contacts into our work. This contributes to passing on the agenda of Christian-Jewish cooperation to the next generations. We have committed ourselves to this development."
(from left to right: Markus Himmelbauer, Sarah Egger, Martin Jäggle)
One third of the committee’s history
"Markus Himmelbauer shaped one third of the committee’s history and witnessed the development of the Christian-Jewish dialogue in our country," said Coordinating Committee president Martin Jäggle. "He was successful and creative both in adult education and as an academic at the college of education. He managed to put the Committee organizationally and financially on a sound footing," Jäggle praised Himmelbauer’s achievements.
"His cross-border initiatives in the Danube region, widely recognized also within the International Council of Christians and Jews, demonstrate his broad horizon. As editor of our quarterly magazine "Dialog - DuSiach" he offered a cornerstone for theological education and renewal in our country", Jäggle concluded.
The ICCJ wishes its good friend of many years, Dr Markus Himmelbauer, all the best for his new position in the parish of Wolfsegg, Austria, and welcomes Sarah Egger aboard the ICCJ family!
On her way to Hungary ten days ago, ICCJ's General Secretary Anette Adelmann met Sarah Egger in Vienna and both are looking forward to liaising closely together and continuing the longstanding successful relationship between ICCJ and its Austrian member organization.