Australia to have representative on peak international dialogue group

February 9, 2009

The International Jewish Committee on Inter-Religious Consultation (IJCIC), a coalition of major international Jewish organisations representing world Jewry to other religions, is to have direct Australian input. “I am pleased to announce the inclusion of Jeremy Jones, the Director of International & Community Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, as part of the delegation of the American Jewish Committee to IJCIC,” Mark Leibler, AIJAC’s national chairman said this week.

“As the major Jewish community in the Asia/Pacific region, Australian Jewry takes its obligations in promoting positive images of Judaism, dialogue and coalition building, in this country and the region, very seriously .We have a uniquely qualified representative and diverse experiences which will be able to inform and add value to IJCIC’s work,” Leibler added.

In 2007, Jeremy Jones, a Member of the Order of Australia, was awarded the Australian Human Rights’ Medal, in part due to his role in interfaith dialogue in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. He is a member of the International Scholars’ Abrahamic Trialogue, sits on the Advisory Board of Griffith University’s Multifaith Centre and spoke at the Opening Plenary of the Inaugural Conference of Australia’s Religious Leaders in Sydney in 2007.

A former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, he is a founding and continuing participant in the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims & Jews, the Uniting Church in Australia/Jewish Community National Dialogue, the Anglican Jewish Australian Dialogue, the Annual Conversations of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Committee with the ECAJ and the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations.

He has also participated in international interfaith meetings in countries as diverse as The Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Jordan and Kazakhstan.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of AIJAC, said ” AIJAC, with our partner the American Jewish Committee, continues our multifaceted activities in Asia/Pacific, as well as in Australia, where we promote appreciation of the concerns of the Jewish people.”

“We now have been given the opportunity to contribute knowledge and expertise on a global scale, and will also be able to enhance our work through regular contact with world experts in the field of dialogue”, he added.

AJC Executive Director David A. Harris said, “AJC is proud and pleased that our cherished partner AIJAC will be joining our delegation to IJCIC. AIJAC will be a critically important voice within this global Jewish institution, ensuring that the views of Australasia and the Asia/Pacific region are heard. In interreligious dialogue, as in its other work, AIJAC has been a strong and respected diplomatic voice on behalf of the Jewish people.”