The meaning of Abraham in Assyrian

One of our Abrahamic Council members, Father Aprem Pithyou of the Ancient Church of the East recently shared this explanation of the meaning of Abraham:

We Eastern Orthodox Christians believe Abraham has a special place in our religions, and even the letters of his name has special significance.

The name of Abraam consist of 4 letters which was before called Abram, the the Lord said you will be called from now ever Abraham not Abram, adding the letter H in his name. So In our believe that each letter in Abraham name means something: A means Aba (Father), B means Bra (Son), R means Rookha D’qoothsha (Holy Spirit), and M means Malkootha (kingdom). When Abraham believed in God, and intended to sacrifice his son Isaac according to the order of God, the Lord added H in his name and that mean Haimanotha (faith) because, it is said in our Old Testament: Abraham believed in the Lord and was counted to him by the Lord righteousness (Genesis 15:6), so the Lord added H. in his name and that means that Abraham can not enter the Kingdom if he doesn’t believe in the Lord.

In summary:

  • A: Aba (Father)
  • B: Bra (Son)
  • R: Rookha D’qoothsha (Holy Spirit)
  • H: Haimanootha (belief)
  • M: Malkootha (kingdom)

Euthanasia Seminar Audio

The Council held a public seminar on Wednesday 22 October 2014 looking at the views of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths on euthanasia.

The three speakers were:

  • Dr John Kleinsman, Director, Nathaniel [Cathoilic] Centre for Bioethics
  • Dr Khalid Sandhu, Muslim Physician and
  • Yitzchak Mizrahi, Rabbi, Wellington Jewish Community Centre

Dr Sinead Donnelly, a palliative care specialist at Wellington Hospital also participated in the Q&A after the talks.

The main questions posed to the speakers were:

  • Are there situations in which ending the suffering of a sick person can be justified?
  • Can euthanasia be safely implemented?
  • Should people who wish to die be forced to stay alive?

Listen to or download Dr Kleinsman’s talk:

Listen to or download Dr Sandhu’s talk:

Listen to or download Rabbi Mizrahi’s talk:

The Binding of Isaac / Ishmael – Wednesday 20 October 7.30pm

The Wellington Council of Christians and Jews Presents
A Public Sacred Text Study

The Binding of Isaac / Ishmael: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives

Wednesday 20 October 2010 at 7.30pm
Myers Hall, Wellington Jewish Community Centre
80 Webb St, Wellington
Entry by koha, all are welcome


  • Rabbi David Alima – Orthodox Rabbi, Wellington Hebrew Congregation
  • Rev Jenny Chalmers – Anglican Priest, St Marks Carterton; WCCJ Co-Chair
  • Sheikh Mohammed Amir – Imam, Wellington Islamic Centre

The binding of Isaac (in the Jewish and Christian traditions) or Ishmael (in the Islamic tradition) is a turning point in each of our religions, with fascinating similarities and differences in interpretation between the three Abrahamic faiths.  Come find out more about the ongoing impact of this pivotal event over 3,000 years ago.

The three talks will be followed by an panel discussion.

For more information, contact Dave Moskovitz, 027 220 2202

Download the flyer

ICCJ Conference Berlin 5-8 July

The International Council of Christians and Jews has announced its 2009 conference to be held 5-8 July 2009 in Berlin, with the theme “A Time for Recommitment: Jewish-Christian dialogue 70 years after the war and Holocaust”.

Sunday July 5, 2009

13.00 Women’s seminar
18.00 Reception
18.30 Opening dinner
20.00 Opening session with presentation of the new ICCJ document
including the ‘Twelve Points of Berlin’/’Zwölf Berliner Thesen’.
Guest: Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, German Minister for the Interior

Monday July 6, 2009

07.00 Denominational prayers at hotel
07.30 Breakfast
09.00 Meditative moment
09.30 Plenary session
Christian Key note speaker (to be invited)
Jewish Respondent: Dr. Edward Kessler, Cambridge
Theme: The necessity of developing theologies of Judaism that affirm its distinctive integrity.
11.00 Workshops (contributors and moderators to be invited) on theological themes
deriving from the Twelve ICCJ Berlin Points, such as:
– Paul and Judaism
– Mutual influencing of Jewish and Christian liturgy
– 21st century forms of supersessionism
– Reform of synagogue liturgy?
– How to work with the ‘Twelve ICCJ Berlin Points’ etc.
12.30 Lunch
14.00 Workshops (contributors and moderators to be invited)
on today’s issues in Jewish-Christian dialogue, such as:
– The Roman Catholic Church under Pope Benedict XVI
– The necessity of trilateral dialogue
– The political situation in the Middle East
– The input of Asia and Africa in dialogue. Etc.
15.30 Free evening in Berlin

Tuesday July 7, 2009.

07.00 Denominational prayers at hotel
07.30 Breakfast
09.00 Meditative moment
09.30 Plenary session
Jewish key note speaker: Prof. Ruth Langer, Boston College
Christian Respondent: Dr. Barbara Meyer, Jerusalem.
Theme: Re-examining Jewish texts and liturgy in the light of Jewish-Christian dialogue.
11.30 Outing by boat on the Spree river
15.30 Break at hotel
17.30 Celebration of the 60-th anniversary of the ‘Deutsche Koordinierungsrat’ at the
Französischer Dom. Special guest: Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor.
19.30 Reception and dinner

Wednesday July 8, 2009

07.00 Denominational prayers at hotel
07.30 Breakfast
09.00 Meditative moment
09.30 Plenary session.
A panel with a Jewish, a Christian and a Muslim speaker. (to be invited)
Theme: ‘The common commitment for justice in the global society’.
11.00 Workshops on the non-theological points from the ‘Twelve ICCJ Berlin Points’.
13.30 Visits in Berlin: The Holocaust Memorial, The Jewish Museum and other places.
18.00 Closing event and dinner.