Australian Jews, Anglicans holding first official talks

SYDNEY, Australia — Representatives of Australia's Jewish community have held the first official interfaith dialogue with their counterparts from the Anglican Church.

Last week's daylong meeting here was aimed at finding common ground and at overcoming misunderstandings between the two faiths.

The first half of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of "The Jewish-Christian Tradition — a Myth?" and the second half was on "Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Aboriginal Reconciliation."

For the first 200 years of the European settlement of Australia, the Anglican Church was Australia's largest.

In recent years, Catholicism has narrowly overtaken Anglicanism as Australia's largest religious community.

Close to a quarter of the country's 18.3 million population belong to the Anglican Church.

Although this was the first dialogue with a Jewish delegation ever undertaken by the Anglican Church, the Jewish community has been involved in a similar dialogue with the Uniting Church in Australia for a number of years. Those discussions culminated this year with a comprehensive policy in that church to broaden its dialogue with the Jewish Community.