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Reform Jewish Movement Welcomes the Upcoming Trip to Israel by Pope John Paul II

Contact: Jeff Mandell, (202) 387-2800

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2000 — In response to the Vatican's formal announcement of Pope John Paul II's upcoming trip to Israel, Michael Signer, Co-Chair of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs, issued the following statement today:

We welcome Pope John Paul II's visit to Israel in March 2000 with excitement and honor. Throughout his papacy he has expressed his personal desire to make this visit. Now his dream will become a reality. His journey continues his dreams for beginning a new millennium of Christianity as a religion of peace and reconciliation with the Jewish people and all peoples who seek God.

We hope his visit will emphasize the need to advance mutual understanding between the Catholic Church and the Jewish and Muslim communities. As he visits such holy sites as Bethlehem, the Western Wall and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, we hope he hears the prayers and wisdom of our common ancestors.

May it be God's will that His Holiness travels with peace and returns in peace.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing its 895 congregations across North America, whose membership includes 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the 1700 rabbis of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.



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