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Former CCJ Director Receives Interfaith Award

Posted Fri, 04/09/2021 - 11:16 by Robert

This week we were delighted to share the news that former CCJ Director Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko is the recipient of a prestigious award for interfaith dialogue from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Liz has received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation for her 'outstanding work promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue in the UK, balanced and nuanced discussion of Israel-Palestine, the rights and diversity of Christians of Israel, and Arab-Israeli rights in Israel'. The wording of the award, which can be read in full here, notes that Liz 'broadened the work of CCJ, as well as introducing it to new audiences' and that she 'has overseen the publication of key resources that have enhanced the potential for mutually enriching relationships between Christians and Jews, and modelled interfaith encounters that embrace spirituality, politics, history, and religious texts'.

CCJ Chair Bishop Michael Ipgrave said, 'This award is a fitting capstone to Liz's immense contributions to CCJ and to Christian-Jewish dialogue in general -- and it is a testament to the work of CCJ across the UK. Congratulations, Liz!'

Other recipients of awards this year included Sarwat Tasneem of the al-Khoei Foundation, the Most Revd Danial Deng Bul, former Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, and others. The same award was awarded last year to Canon Steve Williams, Co-Chair of CCJ Manchester, among others.

You can read the full wording of the award and why Liz received it below.

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Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko -- the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation

Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko has a longstanding commitment to reconciliation. In her work for social justice at the New Israel Fund in Jerusalem and as a trustee of the Abraham Initiatives in the UK, she has contributed significantly to advocacy for the rights of Palestinian Israelis, both Christian and Muslim. During her tenure at the Council of Christians and Jews, Elizabeth broadened the work of CCJ, as well as introducing it to new audiences. With the same tenacity and courage, Elizabeth ensured that the ministry of CCJ has not shied away from tackling difficult conversations between Christians and Jews. She has overseen the publication of key resources that have enhanced the potential for mutually enriching relationships between Christians and Jews, and modelled interfaith encounters that embrace spirituality, politics, history, and religious texts. Elizabeth broadened the impact of CCJ through a campus leadership programme for Christian and Jewish students that nurtures relations with those of all faiths and none and through the launch of a nationwide network for Jewish Rabbis and Christian Clergy. Elizabeth also raised the issue of persecution of Christians in the Middle East within the UK Jewish community. Throughout all this work, Elizabeth's own Jewish faith and spirituality, and her curiosity about the faith and practices of Christians has been constant and evident to all. In 2020 Elizabeth left CCJ on a surer footing and with a legacy of strategic friendships that are a testimony to her warmth and vision. Her contribution to Jewish-Christian relations has been outstanding.

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