Hospitality

Thursday 5 November 2015
Media and Communications Office.

DHAMMA SARANA Temple in Keysborough played host to an ecumenical event last week, as the inaugural Buddhist Catholic Interfaith Luncheon took place in Keysborough. Under a rainy sky, people from both faiths gathered at the temple to share a meal and learn a little about each other’s faiths.

THE 2015 ANNUAL Jewish-Catholic Dinner on 14 June, 2015, focused powerfully on the watershed document of the 2nd Vatican Council, ‘Nostra Aetate’ (‘Our Age’), which dealt with relationships between Catholicism and other world religions.

With many faith leaders from the Jewish and the Catholic communities in attendance, including Melbourne auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards, the keynote speaker was Rabbi Fred Morgan. Rabbi Morgan is Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, researching Judaism and interfaith dialogue, based at ACU’s Melbourne Campus.

Rabbi Morgan spoke passionately and powerfully and surprisingly candidly about the relationships between Jews and Catholics over not just the fifty years since ‘Nostra Aetate’, but over the 2,000 years of Judeo-Christian relations.

 
 
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Ecumenical Interfaith Commission (EIC) hosted the annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner with a record crowd of over 100 people attending the event at the Adele Southwick Hall at St Kilda Shule on Sunday 30 June 2013.

The highlight of this year’s event was a Q&A type panel featuring three Catholic and three Jewish panellists: Emeritus Prof Louis Waller from Monash University, retired Supreme Court Judge The Hon. Howard Nathan, Principal of Bialik College Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, Associate Professor Mary Coloe from the Yarra Theological Union, Member for Monbulk and Deputy Leader of the Opposition James Merlino MP, and Christina Kennedy from Catholic Voices Australia. 


On Sunday June 3rd, 2012, members of the Jewish and Catholic communities of Melbourne sat down at table together for the seventh annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner in the Cathedral Room at the Cardinal Knox Centre in East Melbourne. The occasion was joyous and celebratory, a time for the meeting of old friends and the making of new, with good kosher food and wine and fantastic live music provided by the music group Klezmeritis.
 
The event was attended by 85 members of the two communities. We were welcomed by the leaders of the two organisations who organised the event, by Fr Denis Stanley (Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenical and Interfaith relations in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne) and by Ms Nina Bassat (President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria). We heard from two guest speakers about the origins of the Jewish and Catholic communities in the early period of settlement, from Rabbi John Levi (Emertius Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel) and Fr Brendan Hayes (Parish Priest of Toorak/Armadale).
 


Since 2005, the annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner has been a fixture on the calendar for the Jewish and Catholic communities in Melbourne. Jointly organised between the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese (EIC) and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), these dinners are hosted turn about by the two communities.

This year, the JCCV was our host. Eighty members of both communities gathered together at the Beth Weizmann Centre in South Caulfield on Sunday 15 May, 2011. The president of the JCCV, Mr John Searle, welcomed all present, saying:

"This is the third dinner that I have hosted in my capacity as president of the JCCV and my excitement and enthusiasm has not waned one bit. The reason for that is very simple – with each dinner we hold the strong links and friendships between our communities that we developed at previous dinners are extended and built upon...


 On August 17, 2010, the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission was proud to host an Iftar Dinner for Catholic and Muslim guests to celebrate the completion of the Catholic Muslim Youth Friendship Project.This dinner was the final stage of our Catholic Muslim Youth Friendship Project, which was generously funded by the Victorian Multicultural Commission and carried out by our Commission in partnership with the Australian Intercultural Society and Selimiye Youth Foundation. In the last few months, two separate groups of young people (a men's group and a women's group) from both communities have met twice for meals, discussion and activities. The men's group even took the initiative of planning a bowling evening together as part of their participation. The Iftar Dinner on August 17 was an opportunity for the participants to share with us their experiences and what they have learned from the project. About eight people attended, for many of whom this was the first time they had been involved in an interfaith event. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, aided by good food provided by the MiHub Community Café.


On Sunday 6th of June, 2010, members of the Jewish and Catholic communities of Melbourne met for the 5th Annual Jewish Catholic Dinner in the Cathedral Room of the Cardinal Knox Centre. These events are organised as a joint activity between the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

As in the past this was an occasion for strengthening old friendships and making new ones. Eighty people attended for the three course meal (a full house!) - not all Catholics and Jews, as we were joined by the General Secretary of the Victorian Council of Churches and the President of Council of Christians and Jews, as well as guests from the Buddhist community. Music for the evening as provided by Liminality - Cathy Connelly on the harp and Greg Hunt on the mandolin and violin.

Special guest speaker was Rebecca Forgasz, the Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia, to whom Rachel Naughton, the Archdiocesan Archivist and Museum Curator replied. Rabbi Fred Morgan completed the evening with the Jewish table prayers.

It might not be the snappiest name for an event, but that's what is was: a night for Catholic and Muslim youth to come together in friendship.

On 9th March 2008, 16 Catholic young people from around Melbourne and 16 members of the Turkish Muslim Youth Group "Selimye Youth", gathered at the Cardinal Knox Centre over a meal of delicious Turkish food.

The theme for the evening was "Living my Faith in Contemporary Society"—something that both Catholics and Muslims could identify with.

The event took place as part of a special Memorandum of Understanding that the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese has with the parent body of the Selimye Youth, the Australian Intercultural Society.

It was an exciting first step in bringing the dialogue to a new generation.



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