AJC and Archdiocese of Los Angeles Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate  

On February 17th, 2015, over 200 attendees gathered at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California, to attend “A Watershed Moment in Catholic-Jewish Relations: Marking the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate.” The event was cosponsored by the American Jewish Committee’s Los Angeles Regional Office, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations, a joint venture of AJC Los Angeles and Loyola Marymount University Extension. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the single largest diocese in the United States with approximately five million members.

Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs and Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, specialist in Catholic-Jewish relations for three decades at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke about the history of Catholic-Jewish relations and the groundbreaking changes brought by Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

Father Alexei Smith, Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, commenced the event with welcoming remarks. AJC LA Vice President and Co-Chair of the Interreligious-Intergroup Committee Daniel Inlender and Sister Angela Hallahan of the Archdiocese Department of Catholic Schools introduced the keynote speakers.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

AJC Anti-Semitism Expert Addresses White House Conference on Violent Extremism 

February 18, 2015 – Washington – Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC Director of International Jewish Affairs, told the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism today that Jews in Europe are living in fear and criticized the hesitancy of many European leaders to identify publicly the roots of rising anti-Semitism and the perpetrators of the violence that has struck fatally Jews and the general population.  

AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, has been warning for more than 15 years about ominous elements in European countries that specifically target Jews, but ultimately threaten the democratic societies in which they live. “Some have been reluctant to identify the victims or to identify the perpetrators or even to call it anti-Semitism,” said Baker, referring in particular to the recent Islamist terror attacks in Copenhagen and Paris. “It should be obvious that this radical Islamist extremism is also deeply anti-Semitic.”  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

AJC Joins LA City for Rally Against Terrorism


AJC joined hundreds of southland residents at LA City Hall on Sunday, January 11th in a solidarity rally honoring the victims of terrorism in France. The vigil included speeches by elected officials, diplomats and community leaders, including Axel Cruau, Consul General of France in Los Angeles, Israel's Consul General David Siegel, Frederic Lefebvre, Member of the French National Assembly, California State Assembly Member Richard Bloom, LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge, and AJC LA Regional Director Rabbi Mark Diamond. Consul General Cruau told the crowd, "The terrorists will not succeed." In his remarks, Rabbi Diamond noted that the fight against terrorism is a "war of values and ideas. We must work together to ensure that the ideals we cherish -- democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the value of human life -- will prevail." 

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Anti-Semitism and Islamist Fundamentalism in France

SIMONE RODAN-BENZAQUENHow do we prevent our youngsters from "importing the conflict," a term that is regularly being used by our political leaders when they denounce anti-Semitic violence, if our mayors excuse and even glorify hatred of Israel and Jews?

European Responsibility to Protect Jews

BakerSome governments and political leaders have been reluctant to identify the victims as Jews or to identify the perpetrators as radical Islamists or even to call it anti-Semitism.

Is Germany Safe for Jews?

SIMONE RODAN-BENZAQUEN The safety of Germany's Jewish community cannot rest on law enforcement measures alone. In democratic Germany, Jews are only secure when the broader society sees anti-Semitism as an attack on democracy.

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