‘A place for everyone’
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Christian teachers visit newtown shul

‘A place for everyone’

"It was fantastic to share Jewish culture, traditions and philosophy with a group of very engaged Christian educators and communal activists"

A Christian delegation enjoyed an interfaith visit to Newtown Synagogue.
A Christian delegation enjoyed an interfaith visit to Newtown Synagogue.

A DELEGATION from Scripture Union Australia (SU) recently visited Newtown Synagogue as part of an interfaith training program for Christian special religious education (SRE) teachers.

Participants were given a tour of the synagogue and involved themselves in discussions around Jewish practice, values and culture.

“It was fantastic to share Jewish culture, traditions and philosophy with a group of very engaged Christian educators and communal activists,” said Newtown Synagogue’s Rabbi Eli Feldman.

SU is an organisation that employs chaplains and Christian SRE teachers in NSW state schools, seeking cross-cultural and interfaith awareness to better the wellbeing of Australian families and youth.

As part of the training program Cultural, Hearing, Asking, Telling (CHAT), the intercultural experience is designed to help teachers better understand, support and educate their students, particularly those of minority cultures and faiths.

Participants take part in intercultural visits to places of worship and community centres to complement their training.

“We discussed a number of things including the faith in the one Hashem which we share, and how we can achieve so much good in the world together if we focus less on what divides us and more on what unites us,” Rabbi Feldman said.

“We’re not just here to provide a place of prayer for Jews, but we’re also here to provide a place of community for everyone.

“We’re open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. Anyone who comes sincerely, who is interested in that cultural experience, we’re happy to expose them to it.”

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