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. 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.
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. Over the years the Council has conducted hundreds of public meetings on a variety of subjects, with high calibre speakers. We have produced a number of important documents and publications (see resources), as well as Gesher, our prestigious journal, which has been produced annually since 1990.
CCJ Vic has continued to grow and has been the catalyst for forming similar Councils across most Australian states, as well as a roof body, the Australian Council of Christians and Jews (https://www.accj.org.au/). Leading Christian and Jewish figures have been Honorary Presidents of the Council, and since 1985, every Governor of Victoria has proudly agreed to be Patron of the CCJ Vic.
The Council has initiated a number of innovative programs to promote interfaith encounter, including the Grass Roots Dialogue Project which 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. CCJ Vic also co-operates closely with other organisations with similar aims.