Getting together

May 12, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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After 48 sessions of the National Dialogue between the Uniting Church in Australia and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, stretching over nearly 30 years, the 49th Dialogue had a unique flavour to it.

Zoom meeting

The Dialogue’s Co-Chairs, Jeremy Jones and Rev. Matthew Wilson, were concerned that restrictions on movement would have meant the longest gap between formal interactions between the Jewish and Uniting Church groups since 1991 and arranged for the meeting to take place online yesterday.

The participants connected from their homes or offices, from regional and metropolitan Victoria and New South Wales, for a discussion on “Religious Continuity in a Time of Physical Distancing”.

After opening presentations from Rabbi Ralph Genende, Rev. Matthew Wilson, Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio and Rev. Graham McAnally,  all other members of the delegations contributed their experiences and reflections.

“Over a long period of dialogue, we have developed strong bonds of respect and trust,” Jeremy Jones said.

“At this meeting,  a number of delegates were very open about their personal fears, concerns and attempts to support community members experiencing difficult emotional, material and spiritual circumstances” he added.

While we did not have the opportunity to explore a specific subject in-depth, as we have done at our previous dialogues, matters such as the activities of racist and other conspiracy theorists, cooperation across religious, ethnic and political lines and how community engagement may be changed into the future all featured in the online conversation” Jeremy Jones concluded.

The delegation representing the Jewish Community comprised Jeremy Jones  (Chair), Rabbis John Levi, Ralph Genende, Jacqueline Ninio, David Freedman, Jeffrey Kamins and Benjamin Elton, Josie Lacey, Sharyn Mittelman, Julie Nathan, Frances Prince and PeterWertheim.

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