Christian clergy address AIJAC supporters in Melbourne

August 7, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Six Christian clergy from around Australia addressed Melbourne supporters of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) to reflect on their recent participation in AIJAC’s Rambam Israel study program.

Daniel Hill, Donna Kipps, Patrick Senn, Dr Colin Rubenstein, Liz Dyson, Rabbi Ralph Genende. David Quilty, Tim Hein

Christian leaders speaking at the function came from both urban and rural communities from around Australia: Melbourne’s Rev Patrick Senn from the Anglican Church; South Australians Rev Timothy Hein and Deacon Elizabeth Dyson, from the Uniting Church; Daniel Hill from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney; Pastor Donna Kipps, from the Global Heart Church in Perth; and Pastor David Quilty from Isa Community Church in Mount Isa, Queensland.

The program included visits to Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Galilee, as well as a variety of speakers on topics ranging from Judaism to security issues and the Israel-Palestinian conflict and experts on life in modern Israel.

Reverend Hain spoke for many in the group when he said that his belief before the trip that peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians could be simplified down to applying the right “solution” to the conflict was challenged by the complex reality he witnessed.

Pastor Quilty told the gathering “Going to Israel for me was like putting a piece in a puzzle,” adding that a highlight for him was “Going to the Western Wall and being amongst people worshipping and singing and praying – being in that community of faith.”

Hill said that lessons learned from his Rambam experience will be applied on future groups of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land that he is involved in organising. “When groups go to Israel, [we will ensure] there is time set aside to consider what Israel and Israelis are today.”

Rabbi Ralph Genende of Caulfield Synagogue and AIJAC editorial board member accompanied the group.

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