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Belgium, Netherlands salute interfaith dialogue

Belgium and the Netherlands included Jewish interfaith dialogue leaders on their annual honors’ lists.In Belgium, King Albert II bestowed the title Commander in the Order of the Crown on Rabbi Aron Malinski from Antwerp, where he teaches Judaism at the Faculty for Comparative Religion Studies. Malinski wrote the book “Trialogue” about his dialogue activities with Imam Jamal Maftouhi and Catholic priest Hendrik Hoet, both of whom also received the honor.In the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix granted the title of Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau on Sami Kaspi, who initiated the first Jewish-Moroccan dialogue project in Amsterdam.In Belgium, other Jews on the honor lists included Professor Julien Klener, president of the Consistoire Central, the official Jewish liaison with the state on religious matters and an emeritus professor of Semitic and Oriental languages at the University of Ghent. Klener will be granted the title of baron, a non-hereditary peerage.Willem Koster, former chairman of CEFINA, the fundraising arm of the Dutch Jewish community, and of the Jewish Social Care organization in the Netherlands, also received the title of Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.