Blending of cultures

July 15, 2013 by David Marlow
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV) have hosted a Jewish Buddhist Friendship dinner.

Helen, Rabbi Fred Morgan and Peggy Page

Helen, Rabbi Fred Morgan and Peggy Page

Kosala, David Marlowe and Michael

Kosala, David Marlow and Michael

Nina Bassat, President of the JCCV welcomed members of the Executive committees of both the JCCV and BCV, along with Rabbis, Buddhist monks and nuns, Buddhist academics, and community leaders from both faiths.  The Buddhist guests represented three different Buddhist faiths from a number of different countries, representing Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Tibet and Korea.

The dinner, held at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre on Sunday night, was vegetarian respecting both the vegetarian Buddhists, though it was pointed out that not all Buddhists are vegetarian, and the Nine Days which mourn the loss of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

A roundtable discussion was the highlight of the evening where questions around the teachings of each faith, the question of what is a Jew and what is a Buddhist and the role of faith in helping to cope with the stresses of the modern world were explored.

Dr Ranjith Hettiarachi, a medical doctor and expert on Buddhism said that there was a great deal in common between the Jewish and Buddhist traditions, paraphrasing King Solomon, that in both faiths “wisdom and understanding were more important than silver and profit.”


Happy diners

Happy diners


Jo SIlver [right] and guests

Peggy Page, President of the BCV said that Buddhism was about understanding self and always learning, as well as humanity and generosity.  She also highlighted that the Jewish community had a great reputation for organizing itself, establishing institutions and working together to help its community.

Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Grahame Leonard supported these remarks by saying that the Jewish community was seen as a role model in community leadership by the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC).

Nina Bassat, said that “the evening was more than a friendship dinner, it felt more like a dinner with friends.”


One Response to “Blending of cultures”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Great and fantastic as long as our Jewish Communal Cultural Commissars respect the identity of Judaism !! As such, “blending” ain’t kosher.

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