ELCA and Reform Judaism leaders met May 12 in Chicago for an informal dialogue, one of several they hope will take place in the next two years (see www.elca.org/ea/interfaith/ for discussion topics).
The dialogue came out of an August 2002 meeting between ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and several Jewish leaders from New York after Hanson released statements on Israeli-Palestinian violence.
The May meeting included presentations on both faith bodies and studies of religious texts. Participants talked about a need for "accountability" with each other, and Jewish representatives asked to be "consulted" before the ELCA issued public statements related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or other issues that may be of interest to their community.
Participants suggested that congregations and seminarians from Lutheran and Jewish traditions could engage in dialogues. "Things can be learned in an interfaith setting that cannot be learned within your own walls," said Rabbi David Sandmel, K.A.M. Isaiah Israel, Chicago.
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