Building Bridges

A number of other positive community events have taken place over the past week, amongst them the annual SA Jewish Achievers Awards, Cycalive and various functions involving Rabbi David Rosen, who as explained last week was brought to South Africa to participate in the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Catholic Church's ground-breaking Nostra Aetate declaration. What all these events had in common was that all to a greater or lesser extent about building bridges of friendship and understanding, both within and outside the Jewish community.

In Cape Town the Board, in conjunction with the Green & Sea Point Congregation, hosted a conversation between Rabbi Rosen and Bishop Graham Rose, moderated by Rabbi Wineberg. Our Durban branch, in conjunction with the KZN Zionist Council, Religions for Peace and other faith communities, held a Nostra Aetate function at the Durban Jewish Centre, where Rabbi Rosen spoke and representatives from a range of religious faith groups gave messages. On Monday at Beyachad, Rabbi Rosen spoke to a capacity audience about the Catholic Church’s extraordinary transformation from an institution implacably antagonistic towards the Jewish people as a matter of religious dogma to one committed to promoting respect for and friendship with what it today considers to be a “beloved elder brother”. Rabbi Rosen’s lasting message to us is that no matter how horrific past events might have been, it is always possible to learn from them and build a better future.   

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