Welcome on the website of the Austrian Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation. Here you will learn about our self-understanding and activities.
A Significant Place
We do our work at a very significant place: Vienna. The Jewish community here was the third largest in the world before 1938. Because of this there were many possibilities of contacts between Christians and Jews and fruitful encounters. But anti-Semitism was also a part of Vienna’s society at the end of the 19th century and it contributed much to the extermination of Jews during the Nazi era. The experience of the Nazi time in which many Austrians were involved in the forefront is painfully present still. It is a challenge to remember this time and to educate the new generations.
Having grown out of the shock and dismay about the Shoah the Coordinating Committee endeavours to take stock of and analyse available material on enmity against Jews. It develops methods for cooperation between Jews and Christians in pedagogy, theology and politics. Therefore the Committee is fostering the change of attitudes since Nostra Aetate.
Although the activities of the Austrian Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation are mostly on the field of adult-education, we run a scholarly documentation project of the representation of Jews and Judaism in Christian art in history and the present in Austria. We try to heighten awareness of anti-Semitic expressions in art but particularly present positive examples too. The awareness of these pieces can be a starting point for discussing the achievements of Christian-Jewish renewal in the Churches since II Vatican Council.
Inspiring und supporting the Christian-Jewish renewal of the Churches is the core issue of our Committee. Sermons, lectures in parishes and Christian communities are a regular task since the existence of the organisation. Additional introductory and advanced seminars for teachers are scheduled every year. Especially during the last years guided walks through Jewish Vienna offer a vivid impulse to a better understanding of various topics of Christian-Jewish relations.
Shalom - Music Between Friends
In 2012 we initiated a unique concert in the Benedictine monastery Altenburg, about 80 km north-west of Vienna. It was not a formal in interreligious meeting but an emotional encounter between real friends.
Focus on Central Europe
Given the role of Austria as a bridge building country in Central and Eastern Europe the Committee during the last years has considered as one of its most important tasks to initiate and promote Christian-Jewish dialogue in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary by building networks and organizing regularly common conferences. This is to strengthen these young initiatives in these countries and to transfer our knowledge and experience in theological questions regarding religious education.