Dozens of rabbis, priests and vicars have held their first rabbi-clergy national conference under the auspices of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Senior Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg spoke alongside Bishop Michael Ipgrave, together with Dr Alana Vincent, a senior lecturer in Jewish Studies at Chester University, Rabbi Alexandra Wright of Liberal Jewish Synagogue and the CST’s Richard Benson, chair of the Challenging Hate Crime group.

CCJ organisers said the focus was on “building local networks and personal relationships” as the religious leaders looked at hate crime including anti-Semitism, as well as discussing Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Elsewhere at the event, Rev. Canon Steve Williams recalled “moving stories of Christians, Jews and Muslims standing together in the face of violence and hate crime in Manchester”.

“We don’t shy away from difficult issues but rather welcome honest and open dialogue, the bedrock of lasting partnerships and relationships,” said CCJ director Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko.

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Tim Livesey and CCJ Director Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko during session on How to Talk about Israel/Palestine