September 2005

The Israel Interfaith Association has edited the annual ecumenical calendar.

The calendar, illustrated with drawings of the Jewish, Christian and Moslem religious traditions, points out and explains the festivities of each creed. Details related to the illustrations and the price established to sell it to the public, can be consulted in the website of the association:

The IRWF honors a Catholic savior

A group of volunteers of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation who search for people that helped Jews persecuted by the nazi regime during the Holocaust, honored a grandmother named Lela Sopianac, a Croatian woman who has just turned 90. She hid forty jewish families during theWorld War II in her house in Zagreb. This grandmother arrived in Argentina in 1940, escaping from the nazis. Due to her activity saving Jews, she was sent to a concentration camp together with her husband. As a result of all the tortures inflicted on her, she lost a kidney and the thumb of her right hand. While they were taking her to the frontier between Croatia and Italy to execute her, she managed to escape and emigrate to Argentina. Lela says: ”My house was open to all my brothers, you can’t say he is Jewish and the other one is a Christian. One must apply God’s word, which is only one for everybody”.

Mexican Cardinal enhances bonds with judaism

Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City, lead a group of Mexican eclesiastical dignitaries who recently visited Poland and Israel, on a trip dedicated to study and try to experience personally the tragedy of the Holocaust, which eliminated a third of the Jewish population. Furthermore, the purpose of this trip was to fortify the bonds between the Spanish speaking Jewish communities in Mexico and the eclesiastical hierarchy of that country. The group of visitors included various bishops coming from the Mexican cities of Durango, Texcoco and Guadalajara.

Saint Egidio community convokes to interfaith Encounter

The community of San Egidio (Saint Egidio), renowned religious community near to the Vatican, recently oganized a meeting of Christian, Moslems and Jewish religious leaders in Lyon, France. The Archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Brabarin, was one of the co-organizers of this event attended by The Great Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger; The Minister of the State Department of France, Nicolás Sarkozy; the ex-Minister of the European Parliament, Simone Veil; and the President of the University Al-Azhar of Cairo, Ahmad Al-Tayeb.

The King of Jordan criticizes islamic extremism

On September 13th., King Abdullah of Jordan gave a conference at the American Catholic University, a day after he had met with the Pope Benedicto XVI. During this meeting he had pleeded for the recovery of the Islamic faith by the moderate sections of Moslems, from the hands of the violent extremism who wants to get hold of that religion, trying to justify, in this way, its violent objectives.

Prayer for the victims of violence

On September 11th., the Interreligious Coordinating Council of Israel (ICCI) called for an interreligious service of prayer and remembrance for the victims of violence in the United States, the Middle East and in the whole world. This ceremony, which took place in the Shimshon Center of the Movement for the Progressive Judaism in Jerusalem, counted with the presence of diplomats and a large public.

Translation: Pablo Freinkel and María Pensavalle