The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA)October 24, 2017 2023-08-14 17:40
The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA)
The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA)
The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA) was established in Melbourne in 2003, to establish an annual residential conference based upon the thirty years of experience developed by the Jewish-Christian-Muslim conference held in Bendorf, Germany.
Interested individuals from each faith met at the invitation of Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black and agreed to invite a wide range of religious leaders and academics to join a reference panel to establish the outlines and parameters for dialogue and for the operation of such a conference. Once this had been achieved, and the title and dates of the first conference agreed, the reference panel established a sub-group to plan, advertise, and run the conference.
At the close of this first and highly successful conference, in addition to planning a subsequent conference, many ideas were put forward for other programs, with a main emphasis on education in schools around the country.
Following the conference, it was agreed that a formal structure should be set up; it would be called the ‘Steering and Liaison Group’ (SLG). This group would be responsible for Governance issues, and, comprising representatives from each supporting organization, would be the channel of communication between the JCMA and those organizations. The chair of the SLG would rotate between the three faiths, changing over at the beginning of each secular year.
The SLG would establish committees to develop and run events as it decided from time to time. The first of these was to be the ‘Conference Committee’. A ‘Conference Chair’ would be appointed, again on an annual and rotating basis. For reasons of continuity, the changeover would not be at the same time as the SLG – in the case of the Conference Chair, the natural time would be after the conclusion of the annual conference in July/August.
Subsequently, the SLG established a ‘Schools Committee’ whose primary task was the preparation and submission of a grants application to the DIMIA Living in Harmony program to run a pilot ‘Secondary Schools Program’ taking a Jewish-Christian-Muslim panel into Victorian Secondary schools. The application was successful and the program was delivered and evaluated in 2006.
From these activities, this Victorian based organization enabled people of faith to deepen their understanding of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Australia by meeting, engaging with and learning from Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia (JCMA) is a not for profit organization whose objective is to promote the prevention of emotional and physical abuse arising from religious intolerance and cultural discrimination.
The JCMA aims to create and provide a forum for interfaith dialogue and shared experience through meeting and discussion in a modern Australian and international context. Meeting and learning from Jews, Christians and Muslims together, leads to a fuller understanding of other faiths and perhaps in turn of our own. By fostering relationships between people of different faiths, JCMA aims to reduce racism, intolerance, bigotry and violence and the associated emotional harm.
JCMA prepares and provides an Education Program for both primary and secondary students in both government and non-government schools. This program aims to positively counter stereotypes and race-based or religious discrimination and eliminate hatred, vilification and misunderstanding by providing concrete experiential learning for students through their meeting face to face simultaneously with a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim.
The JCMA schools workshops are a key component of JCMA’s principal activities encouraging participation in education programs that contribute towards targeting racism and abusive behavior and preventing its harmful emotional effects.
Teams of three presenters, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim, visit schools across Melbourne and regional Victoria with the following aims:
– To introduce a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim who live in Australia to the students, and to show the three panellists interacting respectfully and harmoniously
– To educate many more students to be more accepting of others and feel more empathy toward people who are different to themselves.
– To decrease the willingness of children and members of the community to be involved in or to condone hateful speech, prejudiced judgements and behaviors.
– To increase understanding of similarities and to encourage respect for difference and diversity amongst staff, students and parents.
JCMA offers a wide range of workshops, relevant to any school or age group and professional development workshops for teachers.
In April 2018, fifteen people from the Jewish Christian and Muslim faiths will embark on an incredible journey of discovery to Jerusalem. Spiritual leaders, lay people, men and women, will visit each other’s historical sacred places to study and share texts, to listen to each other’s story and to truly ‘meet’ in the City of Jerusalem which is so sacred to all three faith traditions. This will be the third Joint Journey to Jerusalem and the program continues to create the opportunity for people from the Abrahamic faiths to experience a deeper level of connection and understanding of their own faiths and of the other Abrahamic faiths.
The Objective of the group is to gain a deeper understanding of the three Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and of our personal faith journeys. In sharing with others we gain mutual benefits of greater understandings of our own lives and those of others. All age groups are welcome.
- Dr Helen Light, President
Dr Helen light’s portfolio is dedicated and extensive, having worked as the inaugural Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia from 1983 – 2010, she now works as a consultant in museums, exhibitions and with collections, specifically with multicultural heritage and interfaith issues.
- Ghaith Krayem, Vice President
Ghaith has been active in the Australian Muslim community for over 20 years. He has been involved in grass roots organizations both in NSW and Victoria as well as holding positions in peak bodies, most recently as the past President of the Islamic Council of Victoria. He has worked with and supported most major on the ground organizations in some shape or form and has intimate knowledge of the community structures, strengths and challenges.