Christian-Jewish dialogue works to 'seek peace and pursue it'

October 24, 2004

The American Jewish Committee and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States convened a high-level Christian-Jewish summit in Washington, D.C., October 20-21, 2004. The group first gathered under AJC auspices last May and the second meeting is part of an ongoing initiative. The day and a half of meetings addressed perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how Christian and Jewish communities in the United States can work together to advance peace in the Middle East. At the core of the discussions was a vigorous exploration of ways that key concerns of each of the communities can be presented and understood by the other.

The Christian and Jewish representatives spoke positively of their long-standing cooperation on a range of domestic policy issues and ways to strengthen their common social justice agenda. Among issues discussed was divestment, which came to the fore in July after the Presbyterian Church (USA) passed a resolution calling for a process that could lead to selective divestment in certain companies doing business in Israel. Participants agreed to close consultations in the weeks and months ahead on this matter of critical concern to the Jewish community.

They also affirmed their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would allow both peoples to live in peace, dignity and security. Such a resolution would allow Israelis and Palestinians to fulfill their national aspirations within the context of peaceful coexistence and mutual recognition. Groups present, representing a large cross-section of Jewish organizations and mainline Protestant churches included:

  • The American Jewish Committee
  • The Anti-Defamation League
  • The Episcopal Church, USA
  • Jewish Council of Public Affairs
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • The United Church of Christ
  • The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
  • The Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Greater Miami Jewish Federation
  • The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • The United Methodist Church