The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is delighted to have received a grant from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Discretionary Fund. We are very grateful to Archbishop Justin for this generous gift which is an acknowledgement of the important work that CCJ is doing in education, dialogue, and social action between Christians and Jews and other faiths.
In particular, we are making significant progress in enabling dialogue between Christians and Jews on issues relating to Israel and Palestine. The Archbishop’s grant will make a huge difference in the implementation of our third annual study tour to Israel and Palestine for Jewish and Christian community leaders in May this year. The model of hearing the perspective of the other is a powerful motivation to our tour participants when they return to the UK. Together, they are shaping the dialogue in the UK to prevent conflict in Israel/Palestine from creating further conflict in our home communities.
The grant will also make a difference to our annual seminars at the International School of Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, where church leaders are taught about the Holocaust and equipped to be advocates for Holocaust education in their communities around the UK. Our Campus Leadership Programme is developing year on year with more students than ever signing up to be interfaith leaders on their university campuses.
Finally, the Archbishop’s grant will help us to continue the important social action projects we deliver. Often interfaith relations focus on theological issues but it is essential that Jews and Christians and people of all faiths are able to make a practical difference on the issues that are affecting our communities. Our ‘If Not Now When’ campaign, for example, encouraging Jewish communities to reflect on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, is supported by the heads of all the denominations in the UK and is a powerful motivation to people of faith to take a stand and speak out to make the world a better place.