The Council of Christians and Jews in Victoria held its inaugural gathering on 28 February 1985 after a process of study and reflection by a small group made up of members of a range of Christian denominations and Jewish faith traditions.
For its first six years of office it was directed by Rev Professor Robert A. Anderson, a minister of the Uniting Church of Australia, who laid the groundwork for a firm contribution to our multicultural society. Among those also responsible for getting the CCJ (Vic) off the ground were Sr Shirley Sedawie nds, Rabbi Dr John Levi, Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky and Rev George Grant.
The CCJ (Vic) has continued to grow and has been the catalyst for forming similar Councils in most States, as well as a roof body, the Australian Council of Christians and Jews.
Since its inception it has been a force for tolerance and respect in our community. All the mainstream churches and Jewish religious groupings have been actively and publicly associated with the Council. Leading Christian and Jewish figures have been Honorary Presidents of the Council. Since 1985, every Governor of Victoria has proudly agreed to be Patron of the CCJ (Vic)
Over the years the Council has conducted hundreds of public meetings, on a variety of subjects, with high calibre speakers. It has produced a number of important documents and publications (see Resources) and publishes Gesher, its prestigious journal, which has been produced annually since 1990.
The Council has initiated a number of innovative programs to promote interfaith encounter, including the Grass Roots Dialogue Project which has brought interreligious engagement to rank and file members of churches and synagogues across the denominations.
Many current activities of the Council also include some Muslim representation, so that many of our pursuits now represent all Abrahamic faiths.
The Council co-operates closely with other organisations with similar aims