Amitié Judéo-Chrétienne de France
Preferred English translation of the organization’s name?
Christian and Jewish Friendship
Year of establishment or foundation of the organization:
1948 (one week before the State of Israel)
Brief History of the Organization:
The AJCF was founded the year following the great “Seelisberg Conference” by Jules Isaac and some Jewish and Christian friends, to combat antisemitism and antijudaism (i.e. the negative view of Christians on Judaism). The first of Europe, l’AJCF was founded in Paris, then another group in Lille and Aix-en Provence, then in many towns. Now, the AJCF is a national federation of 40 groups, all led by a staff of Christians and Jews. But the President of the national federation is always a Christian, as Jules Isaac had decided. All groups are invited, alternately in Paris and in another city, to attend the annual general meeting of the federation, whose directive committee is elected for a 3-year mandate.
How many members (approximately) does your organization have?
Approx. 900 and about 2000 readers of our newsletter.
Where is your organization based?
The AJCF is based in Paris.
Main focuses/areas of your work:
- If possible visit or maintain contact with all the groups, by coming for lectures, by sending letters several times a year.
- Organize 3 or 4 national meetings in Paris, for study days, training days, or for the annual general meeting every two years, and for the AJCF annual prize: For each year the AJCF awards a prestigious prize to a Christian or a Jew to thank him for this great service to our dialogue.
- Publish many information on our website - social, cultural, religious, international (of ICCJ), and political if necessary, as some years ago to protest against the vote of UNESCO about Jerusalem.
- Publish every month a newsletter containing the latest information.
- Try to deepen contact with the churches, by sending New Year’s greetings to all the French bishops and to the President of the Protestant Church and the Orthodox Church of France, and of the Evangelical Church of France.
- The same wishes are sent for the Jewish New Year to the Chief Rabbi of France, and all the great Jewish friends of the AJCF (orthodox, liberal and massorti, and lay).
- The AJCF publishes a review, SENS, which contains official statements and any other information useful for the progress of the dialogue.
- The AJCF has contact with other organizations (CRIF, B’nai B’rith, Amitié Judéo-Musulmane, Fraternité d’Abraham, the Institut d’Étude des Faits Religieux – of Picardie -, associations as Écriture et Spiritualité, etc.).
Which audiences do you work towards?
- Young professionals
- Retired professionals
- Church services for the Christian-Jewish dialogue
- Christian media (newspapers) an some Jewish media (newspapers and radio)
How often does your organization meet?
The AJCF organizes 3 or 4 national meetings in Paris, for study days, training days, and for the annual AJCF prize. And the annual general meeting is held alternately in Paris and in one of our group’s town.
Sometimes we organize meetings with other organizations as the B’nai B’rith or Amitié Judéo-Musulmane, or others.
Events regularly hosted and/or sponsored by your organization:
Does your organization have any regular publications (in print or online)? If so, could you provide information about them?
Since its foundation, the AJCF publishes a review, SENS (now every two months), which contains official statements, study of an important speaker, lay or clerical, Christian or Jewish, and any other information useful for the progress of the dialogue, such as information on books recently published. Online, as written above we send each month a newsletter to which about 2000 readers have subscribed.
Main working/publishing languages of your organization:
Is your organization active on Social Media platforms? If yes, which ones and how can one reach you there?
Not yet, but we are planning a presence on Facebook.
Has your organization figured in any published online material such as newspapers, books or blogs, databases? Please send us any links/titles:
Officers of your organization:
President (Christian): Jean-Dominique Durand
Vice-Presidents (2 Jews and 2 Christians): Sandrine Caneri, Mireille Hadas-Lebel, Rabbin Moché Lewin, Pasteur Anne-Marie Reijnen
General Secretary: Rabbin Éric Aziza
Treasurer: Claude Kerneis
They are all volunteers, as our webmaster as well, but we have also a salaried employee, the AJCF’S Director Elzbieta Amsler, in our local office in Paris, who is also supported by other volunteers.
Please, describe your organization’s relationship to the ICCJ:
Each year several members of the AJCF participate in the annual conference of the ICCJ, and we have regular contact with the language editor for French of the ICCJ, the Canadian Jean Duhaime, a friend of us.
What is the greatest challenge your organization faces at the moment?
We have two:
- The mutual ignorance of the Christians and the Jews about each other’s religion.
- Antizionism that often poisons our relationship with the public but also within our groups because of the conflict in Israel.
E-mail address to contact your organization:
Does your organization have its own website? What is the website address?