Source: Middle East Online
NEW YORK - An historic event took place in New Delhi, February 5-7, 2007, when a delegation of senior rabbis from Israel and other countries met top Hindu leaders for the first time to discuss a range of subjects including the relevance of tradition in everyday life, similarities and dissimilarities between the two religions and the promotion of education. They affirmed their shared values, condemned violence, and pledged to address the challenges of poverty and illness. At the same time a rare and significant meeting took place between the Jewish delegation, which included the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, and senior members of India's Islamic community led by the President of the All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques, Moulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi.
The Hindu/Jewish summit set the tone for interfaith collaboration. The "Protocol of Cooperation" -- a declaration signed by Rabbi Yona Metzger and Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the convener of The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha -- primarily acknowledges the shared values of two of the oldest religions in the world which both believe in the one Supreme Being who is the ultimate source of reality and creation, and condemns all forms of religious violence. The summit agreed to constitute a standing committee on Hindu-Jewish relations.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati noted the "declaration will serve as a benchmark for others to follow and emulate, resulting in a better environment for all. I have always believed in peace-full co-existence. All religious traditions should respect common values and insist on compassion. Religious leaders bear the responsibility of leading their followers to a path of peace so that the world will become a safer place to live."
Lauding the efforts of The World Council of Religious Leaders (WCORL) who organized this summit, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said "though religious dialogues have increased recently, the Hindu-Jewish declaration is a significant move that highlights the necessity of expanding interfaith community. For thousands of years we have marched on parallel causes and have now built bridges of cooperation between the two religions. Jews have lived in India for over 2000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history".