New York, NY – At the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, DC, Archbishop Demetrios of America joined the ranks of a select few, including Billy Graham and Edward Cardinal Cassidy, by being the recipient of the Isaiah Award for interreligious understanding. This award follows close on the Archbishop’s reception of the inaugural Damaskinos Award that was bestowed by the American Sephardi Federation and the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece.
The citation on the Award reads, in full: Through your ceaseless efforts as a champion of interreligious understanding and human rights, outspoken opposition to bigotry and anti-Semitism, and unwavering defense of mankind’s most noble values, you have raised high the sacredness and dignity of faith.
The Archbishop was presented to the assembly by Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the AJC. In his introduction, which was followed by a standing ovation in honor of the Archbishop, Rabbi Rosen said:
It is an honor and a privilege to present the American Jewish Committee's prestigious Isaiah Award to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America for his great achievements in Interreligious Leadership.
Archbishop Demetrios has been a good friend of the Jewish People since his childhood in Thessaloniki before the Second World War when the local Jewish community was thriving and played a major part in the life of the city. In an event held by the American Sephardi Federation and the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece last December, Archbishop Demetrios of America received the inaugural Damaskinos Award for “his important work in constructive interfaith endeavors.”
In his unscripted remarks, Archbishop Demetrios spoke of the humbling nature of such an award, named after the Holy Prophet Isaiah. He thanked the assembly and shared with them, both in Hebrew and in English, verses from the Prophet Isaiah that speak to the contemporary human condition of suffering and injustice, yet always tinged with hope for “waters in the desert.”
Contact: Nikki Stephanopoulos
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