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Greek Orthodox-jewish Colloquium Termed an Historic Gathering

January 28, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The first Greek Orthodox Christian-Jewish National Colloquium was held here for two days under the joint auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America and the American Jewish Committee. The co-chairmen of the colloquium, Rabbi Mare H. Tanenbaum, director of the AJ Committee’s department of interreligious affairs, and the Rev. Dr. Robert Stephanopoulos, director of the interchurch office of the Archdiocese, hailed the event which concluded yesterday as a serious, systematic and organized way to “join forces to meet their common problems.”

Both religious leaders stressed that the meeting was of historic importance in a “new effort of understanding” between the two communities that are the bearers “of imposing classic religious and cultural traditions that have decisively shaped Western civilization.” They also note that both communities in this country “face common problems as they seek to perpetuate rich foreign-language traditions into the next generation and are faced by strong forces of assimilation which threaten to erode their respective distinctive heritages.”

Rabbi Tanenbaum told the meeting at its closing session yesterday that the Greek Orthodox Church has a notable record of helping to save Jewish lives under the Nazis. He and the Rev. Stephanopoulos agreed that “especially in these anxious times, Greek Orthodox and Jews, drawing upon their spiritual resources, could figure prominently as catalysts who can play a reconciling role leading to peace for the welfare of all people.”

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