Austria

Koordinierungsausschuss für christlich-jüdische Zusammenarbeit

History

Country:
Austria

Organization name:
Koordinierungsausschuss für christlich-jüdische Zusammenarbeit

Preferred English translation of the name of your organization:
Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation

Year of establishment or foundation of the organization: 
1956

Brief history of the organization:
In 1956, the famous scholar of Jewish studies, Kurt Schubert founded the Koordinierungsausschuss. Initially, it had been a section of Pax Christi, and it became a body of its own in 1965. The work of the Koordinierungsausschuss became a widely recognized forerunner of Nostra Aetate and the focal point of various initiatives combating anti-semitism in the churches and in wider society. One of those initiatives was the “Aktion gegen den Antisemitismus in Österreich”, a founding member of the ICCJ.

For long, the Koordinierungsausschuss remained a small but very active organization. Its proponents were successful in involving prominent members of the catholic and protestants churches and the Jewish communities into its activities. From early on the focus was on educational activities and so the Koordinierungsausschuss has become an important partner for universities, teacher education and further education programs. In the late 1990ies it strengthens its ties with the Austrian ecumenical council of churches in Austria.

Since 2000 it has widened its activities again by organizing not only special programs with a focus on theology and religious learning, but also by organizing concerts, debates, lectures, exhibitions and theatre. This has proved important in order to spread the messages beyond “a learned circle” that has for long dominated activities.

Number of members (approx.):
500

Where is your organization based?
Vienna, with local committees in Eisenstadt, Graz, Innsbruck and Linz.

  
Former Secretary General Dr. Markus Himmelbauer on a               Isolde Charim and Doron Rabinovici as speakers 
city tour with students                                                                                in one of our Jubilee Year lectures

Activities

Main focuses/areas of your work:
Education, theological and philosophical Scholarship, Dialogue, and Public Communication.

Which audiences do you work towards?
Academics; Grassroots; Young professionals; Retired professionals; Clergy; Students.

How often does your organization meet?
Board: Every two months, Advisory Council: twice a year, All members: biannually.

Events regularly sponsored by your organization:
The Koordinierungsausschuss does not have means to sponsor events. Apart from its own events it aims to co-organise its activities with academic and religious organisations.

Does your organization have any regular publications (in print or online)?
Four times a year, the Coordinating Committee publishes the “Dialog – DuSiach”. It’s a scholarly quarterly that reaches out to a broader audience and also informs about recent events in connection with Christian-Jewish dialogue as well as the Committee’s activities.

  
Participants of the international Christian-Jewish                          “Shalom! Music Between Friends” – concert with Abbot Notker Torah Study Week in Köszeg, Hungary                                          Wolf, Bishop Michael Bünker, Gerhard Steger and Chief Rabbi
                                                                                                                Chaim Eisenberg

Organization

Main working/publishing language of your organization:
German

Officers of your organization:
President: Univ.-Prof. em. Dr. Martin Jäggle (Roman-catholic)
Vice-Presidents: Dr. Willy Weisz (Jewish), Pastor Prof. Helmut Nausner (Methodist)
Treasurer: Dr. Christoph Konrath (Roman-catholic)
Secretary: Dr. Eleonore Lappin-Eppel (Jewish)
Secretary general: Sarah Egger BTh (Jewish)

Briefly describe your organization’s relationship to the ICCJ:
The Koordinierungsausschuss is a member organization of the ICCJ. We participate in the annual World Conference and General Meeting.

What is the greatest challenge your organization faces at the moment?
Internally, the greatest challenge is to involve more people younger than 50 in the Koordinierungsausschuss’ activities. Although its work is much appreciated throughout Austria and by all age groups it has so far been mostly held-up by the post-war and post-Vatican II-generation.
Externally, the greatest challenge are the growing – though often superficial – demands for inter-religious dialogue as a means to secure peace in a pluralistic society.

E-mail address to contact your organization:
info@christenundjuden.org

Website of your organization:
www.christenundjuden.org
 


Lower row, left to right: Willy Weisz, Ruth Steiner, Helmut Nausner, Margit Leuthold, Martin Jäggle
Top row, left to right: Simon Ferenc, Christoph Konrath, Ruth Schelander-Glaser, Eleonore Lappin-Eppel,
Christiane Arnbom, Sarah Egger