A delegation from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) met with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, to discuss religious freedom and secularism, and advances in mitigating Jewish concerns regarding the issue of baptisms for the dead of Holocaust victims. Additionally, the representatives discussed Jewish and Mormon approaches to preserving religious identity in an age of secularization and advocacy in behalf of religious freedom.
“AJC’s longstanding relationship with the LDS Church is based on mutual understanding as a foundation for cooperation and respect. In approaching faith communities, AJC makes every effort to understand them as they understand themselves,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of interreligious and intergroup relations.
The AJC delegation was given a tour of the Brigham City Utah Temple open house. The delegation also visited other sites such as the Family History Library, Welfare Square, Humanitarian Center, and Temple Square.
Jerry Biederman, chair of AJCs Interreligious Affairs Commission, together with Rabbi Marans, led the 15-person group from across the U.S., AJCs largest national delegation to visit the LDS Church headquarters. AJCs interreligious team has traveled to Salt Lake City a number of times over the past several decades, and earlier this year hosted at AJC headquarters the LDS Church New York representative. AJC has initiated LDS-Jewish dialogues in multiple regions throughout the US.