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'Inspirational': The Launch of CCJ's Inclusion and Diversity Programme

Posted Fri, 10/29/2021 - 12:08 by Robert
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This week we launched CCJ's Inclusion and Diversity programme to promote dialogue between Black majority Christian congregations and synagogues. The Zoom event featured keynote presentations from Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi to Sephardi Judaism UK; Revd Dr Israel Olofinjana, Director of the One People Commission at the Evangelical Alliance; and Canon Lusa Ngoy, Black and Minority Ethnic Mission and Ministry Enabler to Leicester Diocese. Siriol Davies, National Coordinator of the Church of England's Presence and Engagement programme, also spoke, as did Simon Philips, Interfaith Director for Leeds Jewish Representative Council.

At the launch, Rabbi Dweck reflected on the experience of exile and displacement in Sephardi experience, and on being a minority within a Jewish minority. Canon Lusa Ngoy drew on his experience growing up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and emigrating to Belgium as a child before coming to the UK. He spoke powerfully about the forces of assimilation and conformity, and drew parallels with the experiences of Joseph and Daniel in the Bible. Speaking about the transgenerational traumas of the Holocaust, on one hand, and the translatlantic slave trade, on the other, Revd Israel Olofinjana noted, ‘We cannot forget – but we can go on a journey together to experience healing’.

One participant wrote, 'Electrifying presentations. Inspirational, great honesty and an impossible-to-ignore call to work together for the common good. Wonderful spirit of learning and sharing among the group'. Thank you to the speakers, the CCJ leaders who participated, and especially to Programme Manager Theo Shaw for her work; to join in, please get in touch on theophilia.shaw@ccj.org.uk

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