Every new year prompts us to reflect on what has passed. The past year has been deeply troubling for the Jewish community in the UK and worldwide. Hearing of the anti-Semitic abuse that our friends have received across our institutions and communities has been a reminder of the constant need for all of us to challenge this evil rhetoric.
The story of Adam and Eve goes further in helping us to recall what we have in common - the gift of life.
I have great admiration for those who are acting as catalysts for change within the Jewish community. It was an honour to be invited to share my own thoughts in the Holocaust Education Trust and the Community Security Trust’s publication 'Lessons learned? Reflections on Antisemitism and the Holocaust' last month. Educational tools such as these offer the hope that anti-Semitism can and will be held to account.
The Council of Christians and Jews continues to work on relations between our two faith communities. The privilege of being one of their presidents allows me to observe and applaud the energy and passion that is fed into their wealth of programmes and resources.
I have also had the privilege of continuing to work closely with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who has shared such wisdom at various interfaith events this year, most memorably at an interfaith iftar at Lambeth Palace in June. It was a time in which many of the young people attending were feeling the effects of our divided nation. His ability to speak honestly and bravely models true leadership and signals the way forward for those genuinely interested in reconciliation and transformation.
Rosh Hoshanah is a time for celebration and thanksgiving, but it is also an opportunity for the transformation that only emerges from reflection and confession. May I assure you of my prayers during this precious time.
Archbishop of Canterbury