Maurice Ostro, Michael Hockney, Dr Jane Clements, Sir Malcolm Rifkind  ## CCJ Tower Dinner 13232

L-R: Maurice Ostro, Michael Hockney, Dr Jane Clements, Sir Malcolm Rifkind outside the Tower of London (Photo credit: John Rifkin)

by Justin Cohen

A fully kosher dinner was held at the Tower of London for the first time last night as the Council of Christians and Jews set its sights on create a nationwide network of students to promote dialogue.

Lord Howard and Sir Malcolm Rifkind were among the guests at the black tie event, which marked the launch of CCJ’s Three Initiatives Fund. It comprises the Campus Leadership Programme, which will create a network of student activists to run interfaith events on campuses across the country.

The Fund will also support the Just Society Programme, enabling parliamentarians and religious leaders to consider issues around social values and safeguarding society, and the Action For Humanity Programme to develop the organisation’s social action programming. The latter includes the Still An Issue campaign, addressing anti-semitism, and the If Not Now When initiative focusing on the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

Dr Elizabeth Hockney, Michael Hockney, Lady and General Lord Dannatt, The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, Lord howard of Lympne  ## CCJ Tower Dinner 13232

L-R: Dr Elizabeth Hockney, Michael Hockney, Lady and General Lord Dannatt, The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, Lord howard of Lympne (Photo credit: John Rifkin)

Former Tory leader Lord Howard told the Jewish News that at a time which has seen a growth in anti-Semitism, “it’s important Jews and Christians work together. Christians are also being persecuted in parts of the world and we Jews should fight that too. This wonderful organisation can play an important role”.

A total of £75,000 was raised towards the £300,000 cost of the three-pronged programme before the dinner, including £25,000 from CCJ vice-chair Maurice Ostro.

The event, at the personal invitation of Constable of the Tower Lord Dannatt, included a tour of places of historic importance not open to the public and a visit to the Jewel House ahead of dinner in the White Tower.

Describing the evening as “a very special experience”, CCJ’s Director Dr Jane Clements said: “It was the first time a fully kosher dinner had been held in the Tower and we are delighted that the generous donations made will help towards our work which is just as important today as ever.”

Canon Roger J Hall, Chaplain at HM Tower of London said: “I am delighted that the CCJ came to The Tower. In modern times The Tower of London has become an important place in bringing people together to discuss and explore ideas and possible new ways forward. Last night’s money raising event, not only raised valuable funds for CCJ three new causes but was witness to new relationships being formed and conversations between Christians and Jews. CCJ is an outward sing of God’s grace at work in the 21st century. The more people talk to each other, the less they will be suspicious of each other.”