NEW YORK (Aug. 1)
An Orthodox Jewish leader predicted a new era in cooperation between Lutherans and Jews as a result of the recently adopted church statement rejecting Luther’s anti-Semitic teachings. Rabbi Walter Wurzburger, immediate past president of the Synagogue Council of America who represented the Council at a conference on “Luther, Lutheranism and Jews” in Stockholm, said here upon his return:
“It is most gratifying that Lutheran religious leaders and scholars urged their co-religionists all over the world to disavow all anti-Jewish statements which were contained in Luther’s writing. These writings have been exploited by Nazis to justify anti-Jewish policies which ultimately led to the Holocaust. It is hoped that as the result of this encounter between Jews and Lutherans a new climate of cooperation will emerge which will enable Lutherans and Jews to labor together for advancement of justice, dignity and sanctity of life that make a world of peace possible.”
CITES AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE
Wurzburger, who attended the conference also as a delegate of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), asserted that “An important milestone in the relationship between Jews and Lutherans has been reached.”
He predicted that since the Luther an church represents an important branch of American Protestantism, that this action could go a long way towards “revitalizing grass roots interreligious participation.” This means, he added, “that the churches and synagogues on the local levels can become more active in dealing with the social and ethical problems that confront our society. “
The IJCIC consists of members from the following constituent agencies: American Jewish Committee; Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Israel Jewish Council for Interreligious Consultations, Synagogue Council of America and World Jewish Congress. The SCA is the American Secretariat and the World Jewish Congress is the European Secretariat of the IJCIC.